Baby giraffes spring a surprise at memorable dayout at Fota Island Wildlife

It seems these last few weeks Fota Island Wildlife Park has been going through a baby boom of sorts. Just after we have mentioned the rare baby black and white ruffed lemur making an appearance at Fota recently, along came two more baby infants to Fota. This time the giraffe population has seen a jump in numbers as not one but two baby giraffes were born within three weeks of each other both making an impromptu joint appearance last Friday to the surprise of all.
Last Friday 10th august was billed as the day in which the three week offspring of Blaithin and Walda would be unveiled to the public, but things took an unexpected turn when another giraffe Sapphire decided to steal the limelight going into unexpected labour at 3pm in front of a massive crowd gathered at the African Savanna. Lucky guests gathered to see a giraffe calf were treated not only to the appearance of the new three week old baby but to the rare sighting of a live birth of the latest baby giraffe. The latest arrival was born at 4pm to the delight of the crowds who documented the action, uploading comments and images live to the parks Twitter feed, as it happened. As with all things on a visit to Fota, such as case with the baby ruffed lemur, who we now know is born in a nest, visitors left more educated and informed on wild animal habits as they got to see first hand how a giraffe gives birth: standing upright throughout with the newborn calf unceremoniously dropping 6ft to the ground. Continue reading

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Special Wildlife Art Exhibition Held in Fota

Visitors to Fota Wildlife Park can expect to see a different type of wildlife exhibit as internationally renowned wildlife artist Gareth Hook is currently exhibiting a collection of his acclaimed artwork within the parks Education Complex. Running from August 25th – September 7, this selection of his work includes a number of oil, charcoal and pencil portraits which reflect the artists long standing love of wildlife.

Inspired by his native land Zimbabwe and encouraged to pursue art through his membership of the Cub Scouts under the leadership of leading African wildlife artist Craig Bone, Gareth Hook has developed his own style in the world of wildlife art.

Since graduating with a Fine Art degree from Rhodes University in South Africa the Zimbabwe native is steadily built up a loyal fanbase and clientele having held a number of exhibitions worldwide in the past few years. This current exhibit of his wildlife portraits and African scenes is perfectly at home in the fota island based wildlife park with its emphasis on conserving and educating the public on numerous exotic animals. For visitors this exhibition will be a perfect complement and ending to a visit to the island.

Clever strategy and ethos beats the recession

If ever there was a shining example of an organisation or company outwitting the recession, then Fota Island Wildlife Park would be it. A not-for-profit organisation which receives not subsidies from the Government, Fota Island Wildlife Park has reversed an initial recession led slump to gain new visitors and maintain regulars through a very clever and innovative series of park improvements and marketing strategies.

When the slump hit them in 2008, instead of cutting prices or tightening their belts, the wildlife park whose income goes to entirely to maintaining the welfare of the animals, decided to put in place measures that would attract new customers whilst keeping their loyal fanbase. Realising that families want to be entertained and need a fun and varied day out to keep returning, the Fota Island based wildlife park started investing in adding extra wow factor elements such as African drumming, magic shows, Easter egg hunts and Mother’s Day fairs as well offering family friendly face painting, arts and crafts and story telling services to their usual attractions. Continue reading

Newborn rare baby lemur a new attraction at Fota Wildlife Park

Over in Fota Island Wildlife Park, visitors can now catch a glimpse of an exciting new addition to the park as a very rare baby lemur has been making his first appearance to the public at the park this week as he has finally decided to merge from his nest. Born over four weeks ago, the little arrival, a black and white ruffed lemur is extra special as this species of lemur, one of only 3 of the 16 species of lemur residing in Fota is endangered with only 500 reported in the wild. This new addition is part of Fota Wildlife Parks successful conservation program.

For visitors to the park, the newborn lemur offers an extra bonus as this particular type of lemur is what experts call an “evolutionary enigma” of sorts, as ruffed (black and white and their cousins the red) lemurs are the only species of lemurs and indeed species of primate to build nests for their young. They also exhibit parenting skills different to other lemurs and primates all of which can be now seen in the antics of the new arrival along with his parents Pudden and Podge. If you’re a budding wildlife expert or just keen to see such a rare sighting of such an enigma then pop down to Fota Island this summer as the little arrival is making his long awaited appearance from his nest. Continue reading

Up your fitness and bring out your inner Olympic athlete at Fota Island Resort

With the success of Corkman Steve Redmond in being the first and only person to complete the Oceans Seven, and the spectacle of the Olympic games in full swing, fitness and athletic prowess and accomplishment is a topic on a lot of peoples minds at the moment. Upon reading the exploits and seeing the many feats of the Olympic athletes, particularly in the swimming and athletics arena, it certainly gets one in the mood for upping ones fitness and athletic prowess. We all dream somewhat that with the right training one could be an Olympic worthy world champion like our own Sonia O’Sullivan from nearby Cobh, close to us here at Fota Island Resort, an Olympic medallist now chef d’Equipe of the Irish Olympic squad.

Whilst natural ability is only for the lucky few, one can up ones fitness to the level of an athlete. Luckily with the many stunning waters here around East Cork, the many scenic walks and many top notch swimming and gym facilities around in hotels in the area such as our stunning spa and leisure centre in our own Fota Island Resort hotel, one has a fighting chance of getting fit in enjoyable surroundings. Continue reading