Longleat Bats find new home at Bicton College
Published: 28th January 2021
The animal zone of Bicton College welcomed some new arrivals last week, after 30 Egyptian fruit bats from the UK’s top safari park were in need of a new home.
The nocturnal creatures, which are said to be settling in well, arrived at the college following Longleat Safari Park’s decision to close down their ‘bat cave’ exhibit, in part due to the impact of coronavirus rules.
However, in their new home at The Cornwall College Group’s leading land-based facility, the bats will be cared for by an expert animal management team whilst students will enjoy the unique opportunity to learn more about them as part of their course or qualification.
Jess Hill, head instructor at Bicton College, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome the bats into our collection, our animal management team are really excited to work with them and be able to encourage our students to gain knowledge about a species that they may not have worked with before.
“These bats will provide our learners with great opportunities to carry out research projects, animal husbandry and develop zoo keeping skills to be able to go into the animal management industry. Their individual personalities have started to shine through now they have settled in and we love them.”
Longleat customers had been unable to see the bats in person for most of the last season as coronavirus restrictions prevented the exhibit, which was in a small inside space, from opening.
The park has also decided to restore the building in which the bats lived to its former glory as the old coach house of Longleat’s Elizabethan stately home.
The rehoming of the bats has signalled the next step of what could be an exciting partnership between the UK’s favourite safari park and the leading land-based college, which can provide the first step towards a career in the zoo industry.
As well as animal management, veterinary nursing and zoology, Bicton College, located near Budleigh Salterton in East Devon, offers leaners the opportunity to study a wide range of courses and qualifications including land-based engineering, military and protective services, horticulture and much more.
Bicton College forms part of The Cornwall College Group which boasts a new, highly experienced leadership team that is delivering exceptional opportunities, facilities and training to all of its learners.
For those interested in the courses and opportunities available at Bicton College, a virtual courses and careers advice event is being held on February 6 from 10.00am until 12.00pm. To register to attend the event, please visit HERE