Activities & Days Out / 10 August, 2020 / Ellie Thompson
Marzell Zoo is situated in Hampshire, within the Winchester countryside, just three miles from the M3 for easy access. Marwell Zoo is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, from endangered Amur tigers to majestic giraffes.
A 140-acre wildlife park home to hundreds of animals, the zoo’s aim is to conserve global biodiversity and pursue a sustainable future. Marwell Zoo’s talented scientists work to create adaptive initiatives to identify some of the most important animal habitats and help restore destroyed ecosystems.
Here are just some of the beautiful animals you’ll see during your visit to Marwell Zoo.
Penguin Cove will be your first stop as it’s located just inside the entrance to the zoo. You’ll find a whole gang of noisy little Humboldt penguins living their best life. A noisy lot, they’ll be hanging out on the rocky pebble beach taking it in turns to belly flop into the water with wild abandon.
Check out the underground cave where you can see them ‘flying’ through the water. There’s also a daily talk and feed but do check the time on the day you visit, as it does alter depending on the day’s itinerary.
Who doesn’t love a meerkat?
This gang of cuties can be found chilling out in an enclosure on the back lawn behind Marwell Hall.
Meerkat groups are highly organised and they divide their work into three jobs. They have lookouts, babysitters, and hunters. Each meerkat takes turn at guard duty, and they switch roles to relieve each other of their jobs so they take it in turns to eat.
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Snow leopards originate from the snow-capped mountains of central and southern Asia, and Marwell’s Roof of the World exhibit has been designed to mimic this natural habitat.
With dappled grey coats to camouflage them against rocks and snow, they have thick, insulating fur and incredibly long tails – up to 1m in length! Their super-long tales enable their balance when jumping on rocks, but also work as a fantastic draft excluder to create extra warmth when the animal is resting.
Marwell Zoo’s tigers can be found in the very centre of the zoo, and are unmistakable in appearance.
Did you know, that each tiger has a unique stripe pattern so it’s easily identifiable? It also helps to be able to tell male and female tigers apart. Unlike most species of cat, tigers love water, so you might find these guys taking a relaxing dip in their pool.
Did you know, the cheetah is the fastest land animal, capable of running at 50 to 80 mph? That’s thanks to their light build, long thing legs, and long tail. These elusive creatures can be found in the bushes up the wooden boardwalk of the Savannah Tracks, and on a sunny day, you may even catch them sunbathing on a rock.
These gentle giants share their house at Marwell with the lemurs, and you can climb up to the viewing station to get a closer look up!
Did you know, even though their necks are so much longer than ours, they have the same amount of bones in them – just seven! Their long 45cm tongues come in handy when cleaning their noses and eyes, and also helps them to removes the leaves from the spiky acacia trees.
You’ll find the pygmy hippos located next to the snow leopards at the zoo.
These dudes spent the majority of their lives in water, and with their eyes, ears and nostrils located in the handy location of the top of their heads, they can submerge their bodies underwater while being able to see, hear, and breathe in comfort.
Marwell’s white rhinos share their home with Scimitar horned-oryx, ostrich and Grevy’s zebra at our newest and biggest exhibit, Wild Explorers. Rhinos weigh around 2 tonnes each – about the same weight as TWO Mini Coopers! They eat a lot of food, and produce a lot of dung. Marwell Zookeepers are kept busy scooping up three wheelbarrows’ of poop every single day! Poooh-ee!
The zoo’s sustainable Tropical House consists of two levels of wildlife, where the cascading waterfall and warm climate is home to free-flying birds, a sloth and our apex predator, the crocodile monitor lizard. You can wander along the boardwalk for fantastic views of the zebras, rhinos and oryx.
Supersized is a new event on display at the zoo until November this year. Featuring up to 30 models of curious real-life creatures in 25 locations around the park, from sneaky predators such as the venomous blue-ringed octopus to the aptly named assassin bug, these fearsome creatures have been magnified to an eye-popping size. You’ll find a three-metre (yes, THREE metre) tarantula, and a towering two-metre spitting cobra! You can follow the trail to find out more about each species you see.
If that’s not enough, tire the kids out at one of Marwell Zoo’s FOUR adventure playgrounds – there really is hours of fun to be had!
You can plan your family’s visit to Marwell Zoo by booking online today. Marwell Zoo are limiting numbers each day to ensure guests can keep a safe distance.
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