Welsh zoo opens new native species enclosure to raise awareness of endangered wildlife in Wales
Pembrokeshire’s Folly Farm is on a conservation mission, and its newest arrivals are as important as they are adorable
In an effort to protect Wales’ declining wildlife and raise awareness on now extinct Welsh species, Folly Farm has welcomed two furry new arrivals – a pair of male Welsh wildcats. Their home is an impressive new exhibit built almost entirely by the zoo’s employees.
Wildcats used to be a common sight throughout Wales. Just slightly larger than a domestic cat and closely resembling a tabby, they once roamed freely and are thought to have been the inspiration behind Welsh myths and legends. Their names, Caradog and Myrddin, were inspired by characters from Celtic folklore.
Wildcats sadly became extinct in Wales at the end of the 20th century. If you want to see wildcats outside of captivity today, you will now have to travel to the Scottish Highlands – and even sightings there are rare as the cats are notoriously shy.
Caradog and Myrddin have been relocated to their new home at Folly Farm from Scotland, as part of the managed European Breeding Programme for the species. In giving a home to two males, Folly Farm is helping to aid wildcat breeding programs at other zoos, and the pair could even be used for breeding in the future.
Folly Farm’s Zoo Curator, Tim Morphew said: “It is more important than ever to protect our native species. 51% of mammals in Wales need urgent action to protect them, or they risk becoming extinct like the wildcat. It is devastating to see our wildlife decrease like this, but there are things we can all do to help. That’s what our Native Species Enclosure is all about.”
Using materials found on-site, Folly Farm’s zookeeper team worked together to build the Native Species Enclosure, which is now home to the two wildcats. “We wanted to keep everything as local as possible including the materials and plants used,” Tim said. “We even had the very generous donation of whisky barrels from Penderyn Distillery, which we have used to create the wildcats’ nesting boxes.”
Wildcats are not the only the Welsh natives to have joined Folly Farm this year. Guest can also see harvest mice – the smallest rodents in the UK – and white-clawed crayfish are also due to join the zoo soon as part of its initiative to raise awareness of endangered native species.
Tim continued: “The project has two aims. We want to highlight all this wildlife that was once really common in Wales, and remind people that if we don’t take action, more and more of these species will disappear. It’s important to remember that wildlife conservation starts at home. We don’t have to travel far and wide to make a difference. Simple things like building bird boxes or bug hotels to put in our gardens are a great first step to protecting the precious local wildlife.
“We’re very excited to be taking this step to further protect native species at Folly Farm, and we can’t wait for the public to meet Caradog and Myrddin.”
Police scale back search for missing Pembroke Dock man
Swansea man jailed for online child grooming offences
Welsh apprentices win £1m lottery prize
Swansea Council could be crowned best in UK
Neath firm sponsors Swansea boxer, Josh Kaighin as he kicks off his professional career
Young people honoured by Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed
Popular marina swing bridge to be upgraded
Welsh vineyards look to reduce synthetic chemicals in sustainability drive
Swansea bookstore to host crime fiction panel
Wales Air Ambulance Swansea apprentice celebrates qualification success
Fight on Neath train left so much blood in carriage it had to be taken out of service to be cleaned
New council houses completed in West Cross
Motor industry entrepreneurs promise city jobs boost in Swansea office expansion
Swansea University named happiest university in Wales – and third happiest in the UK, according to AI analysis
Milford Haven and Port Talbot joint Freeport bid successful
First Minister announces £750,000 fund for tidal lagoon research
New location announced for Swansea’s Krazy Races soapbox derby
Two hospitalised after Horton garage fire
Student design skills set to help city’s climate campaign
New pipe provides safe crossing for otters under busy Kidwelly road
Swansea3 days ago
Housing association set to transform empty Kingsway office building into new HQ and affordable flats
Business3 days ago
Brewery opens new Llanelli taproom and pizzeria thanks to ‘Town Centre Loan’
Swansea6 days ago
Leaked letter shows Council leaders concerned Welsh Government bus funding cuts will cut-off communities
Mumbles7 days ago
Mumbles lifeboat named busiest in Wales as RNLI issue funding Mayday call
Cardiff Airport7 days ago
Air France to reintroduce daily flights from Cardiff to Paris from April
Film & TV7 days ago
Welsh actor currently playing Churchill on TV admits: ‘I may be Churchill, but I’m no Richard Burton!’
Dyfed Powys Police3 days ago
Police investigate sudden death of Llanelli man
Pendine7 days ago
Residents and dignitaries get preview of new Pendine tourist accommodation, playground and Museum of Land Speed