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.