Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens exhibits mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates from all around the world. The Park is set in 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens in Oxfordshire, approximately 30 miles north east of Malmesbury.
The Walled Garden near the manor house, in the east section, houses a varied collection of animals. Renovations to the exhibits were completed in 2006, and the garden now houses aviaries and an enlarged Tropical House for sloths, ground cuscus, Madagascan jumping rats and tropical birds such as sunbitterns, speckled mousebirds and blue-bellied rollers.
Mammals in the Walled Garden include meerkats, yellow mongooses, prairie dogs, jaguarundi and a breeding group of Oriental small-clawed otters. There is also a collection of small primates: squirrel monkeys, cottontop tamarins, pygmy marmosets, red-handed tamarins and emperor tamarins.
The entrance driveway to the park passes by paddocks where herds of scimitar-horned oryx and llama graze.
In 2008, the Park opened Madagascar, a walk-through exhibit inside the Walled Garden which draws attention to the plight of endangered Madagascan species. The mixed exhibit features ring-tailed lemurs, black lemurs, all of which were previously housed elsewhere in the Park. Collared lemurs, mongoose lemurs, sifaka, Madagascar teal and radiated tortoise are also on show, and were brought in to the collection especially for Madagascar. The health of the collection has is very good with both the ring-tailed Lemurs giving birth to two sets of twins in 2009 and the newly introduced red bellied lemurs also having a baby in the same year.
Larger animals from South America are in the west section, including Brazilian tapir, capybara and white-lipped peccary (Cotswold is the only place in the UK to hold this species). Canadian timber wolves moved into a wooded enclosure in 2006. Other enclosures in the West section house white-naped cranes, emus and parma wallabies.
Domesticated breeds can be found in the Children's Farmyard.
A large moated paddock is home to a herd of Chapman's zebra and a group of white rhinoceros. Nearby are Cotswold's big cat enclosures which house Amur leopards, the world's rarest cats, and a pair of Asiatic lions which last bred in 2002.
They now have giraffes in an enclosure beside the zebras and rhinos.
The Reptile House is a converted barn formerly used as stables, and is home to species such as gaboon vipers, bearded dragons, poison dart frogs, Aldabra tortoises and rhinoceros iguanas. The reticulated pythons, which bred in 2007, and anacondas are particularly large specimens. The Park achieved the first UK breeding for Morelet's crocodiles in 2007 with 12 eggs hatching successfully. Cotswold are the only British collection to exhibit this crocodilian which is native to Central America. The Insect House is home to leaf-cutter ants, butterflies, scorpions and tarantulas. A refurbishment of the Reptile House and courtyard area was completed in 2008.
Red panda, banded mongoose, Bactrian camel and a Bat House holding Egyptian fruit bats and long-eared hedgehogs are also located in the South section of the Park. Near the Reptile House are enclosures for white-handed gibbons and siamangs.
Birds in this section include a variety of owls, birds of prey and waterfowl.
Please telephone or visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park web site for latest admission prices.
01993 823 006