Baby boom at Woburn Safari Park near Bedford

While summer draws to an end the baby boom at Woburn Safari Park continues with new arrivals popping up all across the safari.

By Harry Cheesewright
Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 5:55 pm
Tasha the baby alpaca
Tasha the baby alpaca

Visitors are in for a treat during their next visit, with four alpaca babies waiting to meet them at Alpaca Outpost, along with rare oryx calves, adorable ankole calf Thor, otter pups and a pair of porcupettes elsewhere in the park.

The new alpaca arrivals Teak and Tasha are both females and have joined the two males, Taco and Tarquin, who were born earlier on in the year.

Otterly adorable are a litter of pups born to Asian short clawed otters, Kelani and Kovo, who are in the Animal Encounters section of the park. Currently tucked away in their nest box with mum Kelani, the pups are solely reliant on her for warmth and milk so it is up to Kovo and the older pups to gather food for them.

Tasha the baby alpaca

Although the adults are expert swimmers, Asian short clawed otters are not big or strong enough to be able to swim from birth so the pool has been drained until the pups are around 12 weeks old, when a small amount of water will be added again as they begin their swimming lessons.

Three rare Scimitar-horned oryx calves have also been born out in the reserves. Mothers Eileen and Julie each had one male, while Jody gave birth to a female calf.

As a species that has been extinct in the wild since 2007, the birth of these three oryx calves is of particular importance for the species, which is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

Weighing just 8-10kg at birth, the trio will come to weigh between 180-200kg once fully grown.

Baby oryx with mother

Twin African crested porcupines were born to mother Noko and father Chewy in the Foot Safari early in the summer.

Despite being the largest species of porcupine the adorable babies, known as porcupettes, weighed a tiny 100 grams when they were first born – about the same as a lemon.

Named Piglet and Pooh, the babies are currently following mum and dad wherever they go and camera trap footage shows these largely nocturnal animals are out and about all night, utilising all of the purposely-designed features of the exhibit, including shelters, forage pits and a large pool.

Meanwhile the reserves team has welcomed the first Ankole calf to be born at Woburn Safari Park in nearly 30 years.

Baby otters

Born to mother Daisy and father Norbert, the young male calf has been named Thor. He weighed less than 25kg when he was born, but will reacha hefty hefty 700kg when fully grown.

A highly sociable species, the Ankole at Woburn will always be seen together, with Thor in tow. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the herd sleeping in a circle around the youngster.