Part of the aim of Wildplace is to show animals which were once part of the natural fauna of Britain, and one of the most iconic of all extinct British animals is the wolf. Once so numerous in Britain that tributes were levied in wolf skins, and guards were employed to protect sheep flocks, they became extinct in England by the 15th century, and in Scotland by the late 17th century. In Ireland they persisted until the 18th century.
Friday, 19 September 2014
Saturday, 13 September 2014
One of the longest domesticated animals (after the dog) in the world is the domestic goat. From its original home in Asian mountains, it has travelled with humans all over the world, and unfortunately it is also one of the ecologically destructive. Despite this, it is also one of the most useful of all domestic animals, as its appetite for vegetation of all kinds makes it a prime converter of inedible plants into meat that humans can eat, and milk that they can drink. With such a long history, numerous breeds have been developed for more specialised purposes, from dairy to wool to meat. At Wildplace the goats are part of the Malagasy Village, and are one of the most commonly seen breeds in a display situation, the Pigmy Goat.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Sharing the zebra paddock are two young male Common Eland, Taurotragus oryx. There are three subspecies – I am not sure which the Wildplace animals are, but probably the southern subspecies T.oryx oryx. The only other species in the genus is the Northern or Giant Eland, T. derbianus. Also closely related are the eight species of Tragelaphus, including Kudu and Sitatunga. These are placed in the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae, which means that although commonly called “Antelopes” they are actually more closely related to cattle than to the smaller members of the family which are often generically referred to with the same English name.
Saturday, 9 August 2014