15/04/2022

Easter baby: Wolverine kit born at Wild Place Project is thriving

While lambs, chicks and bunnies are usually associated with Easter, visitors to Wild Place Project will be hoping to catch a glimpse of a very rare arrival – a wolverine kit.

Keepers are celebrating the first ever birth of a wolverine kit at the zoo. The young kit’s birth is particularly exciting as wolverines became extinct in the wild in Britain more than 8,000 years ago.

While patient visitors may catch sight of the young female, her mother, Alice, has been keeping her out of sight most of the time, in the nest she made in Wild Place’s Bear Wood exhibit.

Joe Norman, Animal Team Leader at Wild Place Project, said: “This is completely normal. She has kept her close to her just as she would in the wild.”

He said keepers were pleased that Alice built the nest inside a small purpose built nest box and has dug her own dens throughout the wolverines’ enclosure.

Joe said: “It is dry and warm for them in there. We have been checking constantly, waiting for her to come out into the open. We knew it would be up to 10 weeks but it has been worth the wait. They really are beautiful animals.”

The kit is being cared for by her five-year-old mum while dad, Novo, who is four, keeps well away.

Joe said: “That is just the behaviour we would expect. Wolverine dads have no role in caring for infants.”

Wolverines look like small bears but are in fact one of the largest members of the mustelid family.

Bear Wood, which is sponsored by Natracare, takes visitors on a journey back in time to see what  ancient British woodland was like before people cleared the forests to make room for homes and farms.

It is also home to a group of European brown bears, wolves and a family of lynx which would all have once lived in British woodlands.

Wild Place Project was opened by Bristol Zoological Society, a conservation charity, in 2013 with an emphasis on protecting threatened habitats on our doorsteps and around the globe. 

It is just off junction 17 of the M5, and is also home to animals from across the world including giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, lemurs, gelada baboons, meerkats and more.

Over Easter, visitors are also enjoying the two eggciting Easter family trails at both Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Between 9 and 24 April, giant eggs will be hidden around both visitor attractions for families to discover. There will be stickers for all taking part and the chance to win a top prize including an annual pass to Wild Place Project, a goodie bag, and an opportunity to hand feed penguins at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

To book tickets please go to our bookings page. To book tickets to Wild Place Project please visit wildplace.org.uk. For more information about plans to create the new Bristol Zoo which will open at the Wild Place site in 2024, go to future.bristolzoo.org.uk.

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