March 2024 Zoo News | Emerald Park Theme Park and Zoo
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a baby ring-tailed lemur sat in its parents pouch

Zoo news – March 2024

3rd April, 2024

This month, we had two new baby animal arrivals born within the zoo, our Discovery & Learning Team took part in an important creativity programme, and we even attended the EAZA Animal Welfare Forum.

BIAZA x Oide Creativity

This month, the Discovery and Learning team participated in the BIAZA x Oide Creativity Programme. This program offers a series of workshops designed to enhance teachers’ engagement with the arts, creative teaching methods, and fostering creativity. This year, Emerald Park, Dublin Zoo, and Galway Atlantaquaria teamed up to create an interactive workshop for teachers titled ‘Biodiversity: The future is in our hands,’ held at both Dublin Zoo and Galway Atlantaquaria.

Through activities that promote critical thinking, interactive games, and hands-on workshops, teachers explored topics such as the drivers of biodiversity loss, the significance of biodiversity, the human impact on biodiversity, and actions to support local and global habitats. By working together with other zoos and aquariums and empowering teachers with knowledge about conservation, we strengthen the values of the BIAZA network.

Embrace the Blooms: Why Wildflower Fields Matter for Conservation

Picture this: soon, the first sights of Emerald Park will be adorned with fields of wildflowers, painting the landscape with vibrant colours and inviting a symphony of buzzing visitors.

At first glance, these meadows might seem a tad sparse, but brace yourself! As the flowers bloom, they’ll become busting hubs of biodiversity, beckoning bees, butterflies, and all sorts of critters to partake in nature’s pollination party.

a bumblebee on a pink flower

📸 Antonia C

Why all the buzz, you ask? Well, besides being a feast for the eyes, these wildflower fields are superheroes for conservation. They provide vital habitats for tiny pollinator pals, ensuring the health and diversity of local ecosystems.

By supporting pollinators, we help maintain the delicate balance of nature and safeguard the future of our native plants and wildlife. This beautiful project is a joint effort between the gardening, education, and zoo teams. Any member of these teams will be happy to answer your questions about the National Pollinator Plan, in which Emerald Park takes part.

So, next time you’re visiting, take a moment to admire the fields of wildflowers from afar. They’re not just pretty faces; they’re nature’s way of saying, “Let’s keep this planet blooming!”

Our lemurs welcome a new trooper!

Attention all nature lovers and animal enthusiasts! Emerald Park is thrilled to announce the arrival of a precious newborn lemur catta! Starting Easter week, visitors can delight in the sight of this charming addition.

a baby ring-tailed lemur with it's two parents whilst eating

📸 Antonia C

What to expect when visiting? Lemur catta, also known as ring-tailed lemurs, are native to the island of Madagascar. They are known for their social nature, often living in groups called troops. With their distinctively long, banded tails and striking facial features, these primates have captured the hearts of people around the world. However, they face significant threats due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as illegal hunting. Efforts to protect and conserve these unique creatures are crucial for their survival.

a baby ring-tailed lemur sat in its parents pouch a baby ring-tailed lemur sat in its parents pouch

📸 Antonia C

From their playful antics to their graceful movements, watching lemurs in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. Visitors to Emerald Park can witness firsthand the importance of protecting these precious animals and the habitats they depend on.

So, join us this Easter to witness the magic of the newest lemur catta and learn more about their vital role in our ecosystem.

a baby ring-tailed lemur sat in its parents pouch

📸 Antonia C

New arrival at the Goeldi’s!

On a second exciting note– we have welcomed another precious new member to our family: a Goeldi’s marmoset, born on February 29th, making it a leap year baby! The team is absolutely thrilled!

a baby goeldi marmoset clung onto it's parents back a baby goeldi marmoset clung onto it's parents back

📸 Anto B

Let’s dive into some details about these fascinating creatures. Goeldi’s marmosets are petite monkeys native to the lush rainforests of South America. They’re tiny, adults typically measure around 18 to 23cm in length (excluding their tails), and they weigh about 200 to 500g. Yet, despite their small size, they’ve got big personalities!

When they’re born, these little marmosets are adorable. They’re covered in soft fur, usually black or dark brown, with striking white markings on their faces and ears. As they grow, their fur might lighten a bit, but those distinctive markings remain.

a baby goeldi marmoset clung onto it's parent

📸 Antonia C

Now, let’s talk behaviour. Baby Goeldi’s marmosets are bundles of energy. They spend their days bouncing around, clinging to their parents, and exploring every nook and cranny of their environment. They’re super curious, always eager to investigate anything and everything they come across.

We’re absolutely delighted to have this little one with us, and we can’t wait to share the joy with all of you. So, come on down to Emerald Park, say hello to our newest addition, and join us in celebrating this tiny leap year miracle!

Animal Welfare studies and EAZA Welfare Forum

Have you heard the latest roar from Emerald Park Zoo? Our furry friends are making waves, not just with their playful antics, but with groundbreaking strides in animal welfare research.

You might recall our previous chatter about our PhD whiz delving into the world of Sulawesi crested macaques. Well, get ready for more research excitement! The zoo embarked on an exhilarating journey to the EAZA Animal Welfare Forum, hosted in the picturesque Parco Natura Viva, nestled in the stunning Italian countryside. Imagine this: researchers and zoo aficionados from all corners of the globe, sharing insights, discoveries, and a passion for our animal buddies.

An animal welfare forum as part of EAZA. A group photo with members

📸 Credit to EAZA Facebook page

Enter stage center: T.V. Joe Layng, the maestro of animal behaviour. If you’re wondering who holds the keys to understanding why animals do what they do, look no further. Dr. Layng dazzled the audience as the keynote speaker, weaving tales of insight and wisdom from his vast experience.

But wait, there’s more! Emerald Park Zoo isn’t just a spectator in this symphony of animal welfare, we will become an integral part of the ensemble. Get ready for the unveiling of our mission: to craft tailor-made animal welfare assessment tools for as many species as we can. And that’s not all. Our team is rolling up their sleeves to dive deep into the realm of positive welfare indicators, so you might see our animal care and education staff recording data and making behavioural observations. We’re on a quest to uncover the secrets of joy, contentment, and wellbeing in our beloved animal residents, alongside many other dedicated researchers in the field.

At Emerald Park Zoo, we’re proud to be part of the journey, collaborating with fellow enthusiasts and experts to ensure the best possible lives for our furry, feathered, and scaly companions!

Thanks for reading. Check back next month for more zoo updates!

The Emerald Park Zoo Team