Five new arrivals at Curraghs

Kathleen Graham, the new manager of the Wildlife Park

Kathleen Graham, the new manager of the Wildlife Park

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CURRAGHs Wildlife Park has welcomed some very special new faces this month.

Not only have four prairie dogs taken up residence in a new purpose-built enclosure in the Close Beg area of the park, but Scottish export Kathleen Graham has been rehomed in the general manager’s enclosure.... I mean office.

Prairie Dogs. Wildlife Park.

Prairie Dogs. Wildlife Park.

Commenting on her appointment, Kathleen said: ‘I am very excited to take up the position at Curraghs. I think it is a great park.

‘The atmosphere is so relaxing; it is in a beautiful setting and I love all the free-ranging animals. The new play area at Close Beg is also a fantastic family area.’

She added: ‘I think my appointment will bring some exciting new changes to the park. I am very keen on engaging and inspiring visitors in animal conservation. The walkway through the Curraghs is also a fantastic, accessible walk for all and a great way to see the natural beauty of the area and get close to nature.

‘As a parent I also believe that a wildlife park should offer a good value- for-money day out for the family; animals that are firm favourites and play areas that the kids enjoy. If you can go a whole day without a tantrum and have them tired out and in bed by 7pm, then its value for money, I’m sure most parents would agree.’

She continued: ‘I took my son to Curraghs for the day before I started my position.

He had a fabulous day. I arrived at 10am in the morning and by 4pm I was still having trouble getting him out of the soft play area! We had a really nice lunch in the café, which does fabulous home baking. He loved all the walkways and being able to get up close to the animals, especially the lemurs. The meerkats and new prairie dog enclosure was a big hit too.’

Juan Turner MLC, member responsible for the Curraghs Wildlife Park, said: ‘I’m looking forward to working with Kathleen to continue the development of the park as one of the island’s favourite family attractions.

‘I am committed to ensuring there is ongoing investment in visitor facilities and attractions. We already have some exciting plans in the pipeline.’

Kathleen was born in Edinburgh and has worked for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for 14 years, predominantly based at Edinburgh Zoo during her career there.

Edinburgh Zoo has a renowned international reputation for conservation, research and education. Edinburgh is also famous for having the only Giant Pandas in the British Isles.

Having worked her way up from being a trainee keeper to head keeper of hoofed mammals, Kathleen was in charge of more than 130 animals and 10 staff, as well as volunteers and students.

She moved over to the Island with her husband and young son to take up the position.

Kathleen is not the only new arrival at the park – four prairie dogs have taken up residence in a new purpose- built enclosure in the Close Beg area of the Park.

Having seen significant improvements since Easter 2011, Close Beg now features a large adventure playground and a soft play indoor play area, as well as the park’s star animal attractions – the meerkats and prairie dogs.

Curraghs Wildlife Park is open daily from 10am until 6pm. Follow the park at facebook.com/curraghswildlifepark

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