Monday, October 17, 2005

Whither the potto?

London Zoo's pottos, like the rest of their small and nocturnal mammals, have recently had to move house so that their building can be refurbished.

The question is, where have they gone? Some of the animals are going to be displayed in another building during the two years of renovation; others will stay at the zoo, but remain off exhibit; and still others will stay temporarily at different zoos. The zoo's press release doesn't say which group the pottos are in. This isn't just bizarre curiosity (though it is that as well); I've adopted a potto for two years running and hope I'll be able to continue. I've e-mailed the zoo, so I should find out soon.

The small-mammal house refurbishment is one of many
changes coming to London Zoo. They're planning to do away with cages and glass enclosures, keeping the animals in more natural 'environments' where they are separated from visitors by moats or low fences. They've already completed two sections: walk-through exhibits of squirrel monkeys and African birds. We've been through both of these, and they look great. Around the time that the small-mammal house reopens, the zoo will also be starting a frog centre, from which they'll run captive breeding programmes for some of the world's most endangered amphibians. Give me all this and pottos, and I'll be in zoo heaven.


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