Meet the new exotic animals at Jimmy’s Farm near Ipswich
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A raft of exotic animals have made a home at Jimmy’s Farm since it was awarded a zoo licence last year – and the venue plans to home even more in the future.
The farm, on the outskirts of Ipswich, has welcomed some exciting new editions to its ranks in the last few weeks – including a band of South American Coatis, a new male meerkat and a female reindeer – and is set to embark on a new breeding programme.
The farm earned an EEP zoo licence in October meaning it can keep and breed a range of animals and hopes to play an important role in educating the public, conserving rare species and increasing their numbers.
Zoo manager Stevie Sheppard says he is excited at the farm’s potential.
“One of our new animals is our male meerkat Mozart.
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“He is currently in quarantine and is slowly being introduced to the females.
“We have four meerkats at the moment but want more, to have 15 to 20 of them would be absolutely great.”
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The farm’s most recent residents are a band of coatis, a member of the racoon family.
The energetic animals live as a group and seem to be very strong willed.
“We built them a wooden shelter to live in but they have ended up building their own home in the tree and now use ours as a toilet,” said Mr Sheppard.
The farm’s new reindeer Mistletoe, or Misty, arrived at the farm pregnant and they expect her to give birth very soon.
Mr Sheppard said: “They are approaching becoming endangered as they are kept for meat, for their fur and for their antlers.
“You don’t find them in the wild as much anymore. It is odd because our male reindeer Dolph doesn’t have his antlers but Misty does.
“The females keep their antlers when pregnant so they can defend their baby when it is born.”
This year looks to be a busy one for the farm as they look to launch a new aviary and a butterfly house at the site.
Emu steal missing wallabies’ home
A pair of wallabies who went missing from the farm over the weekend got a surprise on their return - discovering the emus they live with have stolen their home.
Staff noticed Jack and Jerry were not in their paddock after an evening patrol on Friday, quickly launching a search operation to find the animals.
Thankfully the pair were returned to the farm within 24 hours with help from the public.
But in their absence, the two emus they share a paddock with, Alice and April, spent the night in the wallabies’ homes and now won;t move out.
“I’m going to have to build them a new home,” said zoo manager Stevie Sheppard.