Members visit to Cat Survival Trust 9th July 2017
A beautiful sunny day for our visit to the Cat Survival Trust in Codicote, Hertfordshire, which didn't disappoint. There was a good turnout of members who came from as far afield as Bristol, Grantham and Rugby.
Following a briefing by Dr Terry Moore in their very well equipped Conference Room we made our way to the enclosures. In spite of the heat most of the cats were outside and willing to be photographed or even sketched. There are currently 14 species on site as well as 3 delightful Ring Tailed Lemurs, 9 Racoon Dogs from Asian including pups who were extremely inquisitive. Then to my surprise there were 2 Eagle Owls and I think the other 2 were Spotted Eagle Owls, but perhaps I should check. There was a beautiful bed of poppies, cornflowers, lavender and what I think was Downy Woundwort with lots of bumble bees and a few honey bees, as well as a few butterflies.
The Caracals, Servals, Fishing Cat and one I have never come across before Jaguarundi, a very deep ginger small cat and on the move around his enclosure. The Pumas were no where to be seen, nor were the Amur Leopards, while the Snow Leopards were busy snoozing in the shade of their enclosure. The Jaguar was up for being photographed though. In two enclosures on one of the lawns were a very vocal Harris Hawk and next to him a shy European Wildcat lazing on a branch in the shade.
During our lunch break Dr Terry Moore told us about the work of The Cat Survival Trust over the last 40yrs and how important their role is in the conservation of these species and their habitat in the wild. His talk included details of what is loosely called climate change and how the earth is reacting to its changing poles. I mentioned to Dr Moore that I had noticed that sunrise and sunset positions had moved which he confirmed was due to the earth axis having moved with north now heading towards Russia. They take an active role in providing scientific information as the survival of the species within their care is severely affected.
It was a little cooler after lunch and we discovered the Pumas were out in their enclosure giving us a great opportunity to photograph them. The Amur Leopards were also visible too. The Snow Leopards - mother and cub, although lying close together towards the back of their enclosure provided us with a wonderful moment as they groomed each other. While a couple of the young Pumas, or Mountain Lions were getting over amorous in the next enclosure and the others either looked on or kept out of the way.
A great visit and a big thank you to our Chairman, Sarais Crawshaw for organising this and to Cat Survival Trust for their excellent knowledge and hospitality.