Marwell WILD EXPLORERS Review
by Helen Murray, Editor of Raring2go Salisbury & Primrose Paternoster
Home to rhinos, Grevy's zebras and scimitar-horned Oryx, the new Wild Explorers exhibit at Marwell Zoo is world class and worth travelling to see. One Summer evening I treated my 5 year old goddaughter to a surprise visit.
Situated at the top of the zoo, Wild Explorers combines the space previously occupied by three separate enclosures, which provides a vast space for these endangered species to co-habit, much as they would in the wild. With indoor exhibition areas, outdoor observation space, plus an amazing themed play area, there is plenty to see and do within this part of Marwell alone.
From the raised observation boardwalk you can survey the vista down the hill. Wild Explorers is five times bigger than any other exhibit at the zoo so there is lots of room for the animals to amble about. In fact it's so big you could justify bringing a pair of binoculars, but you don't really need to as Marwell have planted spy-in-the-grass cameras, which feed live footage to touch screens that kids can access. If none of the animals happen to be in range of the cameras you can scroll through pre-recorded video to find out more about them.
From the boardwalk you move on to the Discovery Zone. If any of the animals are near the watering hole, you can get up close in the conveniently placed Safari vehicle. Here at 1pm every day, become a wildlife ranger and learn how to identify zebras from their unique stripe patterns.
Journey through another indoor exhibition area, then arrive at one of the most artistic wooden play areas you might have ever seen! Be prepared to spend a while here. It won't be a hardship. While the kids are climbing, sliding and balancing, you'll want to explore too. Admire the plantings. Check out the amazing carved lion. Count the teeth on the crocodile!
Wildlife Explorers is almost an attraction within an attraction, there is so much to see, experience and learn within this one exhibit alone, but Marwell are not finished yet. Over the next 10 years a further £13million will be invested to create more improved habitats that will benefit both the animals and the visitor's experience. Next up is a new tropical house, which will house both current and new species, with a heating system powered by the animal's waste! Marwell, we're loving your work! Here's what Primrose had to say:
One evening I went out with my Godmother. I didn't know where we were going. When I realised where we were going I was super duper exited because we were going to Marwell Zoo! We got taken in a golf buggy to the new Little Explorers Trail first we saw rhinos, zebra and oryx all in the same paddock. Then we saw somebody dressing up as a rhino. After that we went to the lion play park, it was fun. Then we went to see the tigers and meerkats. We didn't get to see all the other animals.
Then we had some supper I had a burger, salad and pasta with pesto sauce it was delicious. It was at the graze cafe.
After that we got on a tractor back to the car park. We were in the front seat, I had a good evening. When we got home it was very late. I was hungry. I had pork chops. Then I went to bed.
By Primrose Paternoster age 5
Report filed August 2015