Well with just over 3 weeks to go before Christmas, the park is gearing up for a bumper season. Hopefully the weather will hold out for us and we will have the masses streaming in. Last Christmas was the busiest we had for more than 5 years and we are hoping this year will be even better. Christmas day is the only day of the year we close to the public but are open on all other public holidays...including New Year's Day.
Breeding season has hit with a bang this last week with 11 baby Peacocks now running around the park. You can also see a baby Barn Owl, Guira Cuckoo, Perfect Lorikeet, Chinese Painted Quail and Ring-neck Pheasant in the Baby Room. We allow most of the birds to raise their own babies and only hand-raise when absolutely necessary. This is mostly due to the fact that we do not sell our babies for pets, but rather trade with other zoos, parks, and private breeders as breeding birds.
It is a sad fact that Christmas is the time so many people want to give animals as presents to their kids without thinking of the long-term consequences. Every year starting in March, we get phone calls from people wanting to donate their "presents" to us. Many of them we unfortunately have to turn away as we do not have the space to house them properly. Also, all birds donated to the park and brought in from other facilities have blood tests done which cost in excess of R500 each. This is done to check for common diseases which could cause major problems and even death to our existing collection. When you consider that we get more than 300 requests a year to re-home birds, that cost works out to at least R 150 000 a year if we were to accept all those birds! Not only is that money we can ill afford to spend, but the cost of the tests also often exceeds the value of the birds. So after having read this, please think very carefully before buying not only a pet bird, but any pet for yourself, family or children. It really is like having a human child and if you don't have the time, rather buy a plant :)
With all that out the way I want to say thank you to everyone for their support as we get our social media networks up and running. It has been very encouraging for us to see the responses to the Facebook page, You Tube posts, Twitter posts and the blog you are reading now. The website guys are coming today so that should be up and running soon as well. Please leave comments and tell your friends to support us as well.
Friday, 30 November 2012
It's been a busy week here at the park with more than 500 kids coming through for a function on Wednesday and Thursday. Thankfully the weather held out so they were able to have a full day of fun at the park. The weather though hasn't stopped us from working or taking a break and there has been much going on behind the scenes to prepare the park for the Christmas season. Cages are being renovated, new birds are going on display, babies are popping out everywhere and the staff are working harder than ever to ensure our visitors have the best experience possible. The new cycle lane in Riverside Road is now almost complete and this will also bring in additional visitors. We are looking at a discounted entry fee for cyclists to encourage more people to not only visit us, but also make use of this new addition and reduce their carbon footprint.
We are now up and running with our You Tube and Twitter pages and are trying to post new content here every week. The Facebook page also continues to grow and again new content will be added every week. The new website has also been given the go-ahead and this will hopefully be up and running in the next couple of weeks. We will have 2 websites: www.umgeniriverbirdpark.co.za and www.urbp.co.za. Both sites will be identical and content will be updated every month. That's it for now. Thanks for reading and catch up with us again next week for more news.
Sunday, 25 November 2012
After much deliberation and requests from members of the public about regular updates on news from the park, we have now created this blog. In addition to our existing Facebook page, we now have Twitter and You Tube accounts and now this blog. To keep them all updated as often as we would like is going to take some effort but we aim to please so all I ask is that you are patient and give us some time to get this all together. Our entire Education and Marketing team consists of one person...me as we don't have the budget for more staff so I will try my best to keep it all together. Regards Grant