Animal Bios

Meet just some of the many animals that call our zoo home!

Yasmin

Yasmin

Exmoor Pony (Equus ferus caballus)

Registered Name: Bemborough Yasmin

Yasmin is an Exmoor Pony, who arrived at the College in 2013. She came to the College as a young mare from Adam Hensons Farm (of Countryfile fame) and was housed at our Equine Centre as part of a group of weanlings for initial training. After a short stay back at Adams farm after training; Yasmin then moved to Animal Management at the College, along with her brother Yohan to take up permanent residence as a part of the large domestic hoofstock section.

Exmoor Ponies are a rare breed of pony, and are classed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as ‘Endangered’. Being at the college, Yasmin is an excellent ambassador for her breed to not only our students, but zoo visitors too. She works well with students who do a lot of work with her from capture and restraint methods, to lunging and using specialist equipment. It is hoped that in the future Yasmin can be backed with the potential to be ridden; and taken to Country Shows and worked in the show ring- as she is an excellent example of her breed.

Ravi

Ravi

Bengal Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis)

Ravi is a Bengal Eagle Owl. He arrived at the College as an Owlet after hatching at the Falconary Centre at Peckforton Castle in early 2010. He was raised by keepers here at the college, and so from a very early age he got to know quite a lot of people. From this, it seems he’s a confident bird, and has met thousands of people over his life so far, and has flown for many of them. This makes him a very important member of our flying team.

A favourite with staff, visitors and students alike; Ravi does have a few small worries. He doesn’t like crows. Or buzzards for that matter. Probably because when he was learning to fly around our campus he met a lot of them who weren’t as happy to see him, as he was to meet them!

He can often be seen swooping from tree to person to collect some food, before heading back to sit in a tree and wait.

Diego

Diego

Blue Tegu (Tupinambis merianae)

Diego is Blue Tegu. He’s was born in 2015 and is around a year old now, but he’s only been at the college since March 2016. He’s a cheeky chap and at a year old- he’s already 2ft in length. If you think that’s a big lizard then wait until he’s fully grown as he’ll be at least 6ft in length as an adult!

Diego is a Tegu, but is what’s described as a blue variant- meaning he has a bluish pigment on his white scales. He’s a handsome chap, and he knows it!

Due to the size of Diego now, and especially as we know how big he’s going to grow- he’s already started on a training programme. It’s not just dogs that can learn - reptiles are very intelligent and can learn many different things. Diego is undergoing target training – this is where he moves to a target (ping pong ball on the end of stick) when it is presented and receives a reward. In this way, we can be confident we can move him around his enclosure safely, or in fact the reptile room where he regularly comes out for some exercise. Whenever this target is visible, he’ll move to it as he assumes a reward will follow. Using this method, he will follow the target out of his enclosure, and back in again after his training or exercise is complete- minimising the need for handling; which will be essential when he gets to his full size!

He’s showing great promise and we hope that once he’s fully grasped his training he can be used in many lessons and be an ambassador for his species for both our students and zoo visitors alike!

Ernie

Ernie

Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)

Ernie the Brazilian Tapir arrived at the College in 2007 from Dudley Zoo. He was 5 when he arrived- and instantly became a hit with everyone who met him.

Being the only college at the time to house a Tapir, he soon managed to make his way onto all of our logos and promotional materials for the collection, where a Tapir silhouette remains to this day.

In 2009, Ernie was joined by Timmi, a male Brazilian Tapir from Fota Wildlife Park in Cork, Ireland. The two males became friends quite quickly and can often be found sharing a stable, and browsing for food together.

Over the years the Tapir have shared their paddock with many other species including Capybara, Mara and the occasional Mallard Duck. On hot days, Ernie likes nothing more than to walk through a sprinkler, or hang out in the pond, unlike Timmi who runs from the sprinkler because it’s too cold!

Unfortunately some of our visitors to the zoo don’t get the chance to view Ernie and Timmi, and that’s because they’re nocturnal. They’d prefer to spend their time snoozing in the day, and roaming at night. So if you do manage to spot a Tapir well done!

Sgt. Pepper

Sgt. Pepper

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

A domestic rabbit, Sgt Pepper came to us under unusual circumstances. He was found as a stray, and handed in to Cheshire Pet Medical Centre in Holmes Chapel. After a period of time when he was left unclaimed; Cheshire Pet then contacted us to see if we could take him on. He arrived at the college as a neutered male, and so was bonded with one of our resident females Geri, and they’ve lived together ever since.

We don’t know precisely how old Sgt. Pepper is; but it was suspected that he was a young rabbit when he arrived at the vets, and is now well into adulthood.

Other than spending time with his ‘wife’ Geri; Sgt. Peppers’ other favourite things are chewing on apple twigs, eating hay and his absolute favourite thing is to dig in his sand pit.

He’s a firm favourite with most students, and the staff at the vets too.