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Bear Grylls opens new enclosure at Cotswold Wildlife Park


Bear Grylls opens new enclosure at Cotswold Wildlife Park

Adventurer, writer and presenter of one the most watched shows on the planet, the Emmy nominated Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor, Bear Grylls, officially opened the newly revamped Insect and Invertebrate House at Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford, on Monday 24th September 2012.

Bear was given a tour of the new enclosure and came face-to-face with some of the Park’s residents. He held one of the world’s largest stick insects, (Giant Asian Stick Insect, pictured right), a Bearded Dragon (pictured top left) and saw eighteen rare and fascinating species of invertebrates including; Red Bellied Piranhas, the deadly Black Widow Spider and the Salmon-Pink Bird-Eating Tarantula.

Commenting on the new enclosure, Bear said: “It’s an amazing and great chance to excite and scare the kids in a good way!” His favourite experience in the Invertebrate House was “seeing the Emperor Scorpions under the UV light and how scary they looked. "I’m glad I don’t have a torch like that out in the wild. Sometimes it’s better not to see what’s around you!” Bear added: "I've brought my children here for years. It's a great way to introduce them to wildlife."

The enclosure is also home to the critically endangered Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). This extraordinary species is restricted to an area of less than 10 square kilometres around Xochimilco on the southern edge of Mexico City. The name “axolotl” is thought to have originated from the Aztecs, derived from two words: atl, meaning “water”, and xolotl meaning “monster”. Once eaten as a delicacy in Mexico City, they are now a protected species in Mexico and Critically Endangered in the wild and listed as the sixth most globally threatened amphibian according to the EDGE programme (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species).

Another resident is the notorious Red Bellied Piranha. Often feared because of its seemingly aggressive and frenzied attacks, this species of piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) has a reputation as a voracious predator, with razor-sharp teeth and an insatiable appetite. Although these Amazonian river predators are far more likely to feed on fish, insects and even plants, they can also strip flesh from bones in minutes using their cuspate triangular teeth and powerful jaws

The Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Burford is open every day from 10am.


Explore Gloucestershire
25 September, 2012


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