Bowdleflode News No. 31 – December 2020
Welcome to our 31st monthly newsletter. From Bowdleflode HQ we wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and a Covid Free 2021. It is quite extraordinary that a tiny virus can wreak such havoc and equally amazing that the hard work and skills of scientists across the world can produce vaccines in record time. Please keep in touch with us and encourage others to create more Bowdleflode Creatures for our online safari park.
The only known white giraffe in the world has been fitted with a GPS tracking device to its horns, in a bid to keep poachers at bay in north-east Kenya. The device will allow rangers to monitor the lone male giraffe’s movements in real time.
The giraffe has a rare genetic condition called leucism, which causes the loss of skin pigmentation. He is thought to be the last of his kind after poachers killed two of his family members – a female and her 7 month old calf with similar skin, in March this year. The Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, which oversees wildlife in the area, issued a statement which they said the tracking device would give hourly updates on the giraffe’s whereabouts helping rangers to keep the rare animal safe from poachers.
White giraffes were first spotted in Kenya in March 2016, about two months after a sighting in neighbouring Tanzania. A year later, white giraffes made headlines again, after the mother and her calf from the conservancy in Kenya’s Garissa County were caught on camera. Native to more than 15 African countries, giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals. They are hunted by poachers for their hides, meat and body parts. Some 40% of the giraffe population has disappeared in the last 30 years, with poaching and wildlife trafficking contributing to this decline, according to the Africa Wildlife Foundation. Giraffes have been designated as a vulnerable species on The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with an estimated population of only 68,293 globally.
World’s first Hedgehog Caravan Park!
The world’s first tiny holiday park for hedgehogs has opened in the North West of England in an effort to protect the creatures over winter. After being placed on the endangered species list this year for the very first time, the miniature caravan park will allow the hedgehogs to hibernate safely.
UK holiday booking provider, Parkdean Resorts, started the initiative after discovering they were at risk of becoming extinct following a drastic decline in their population. The park wanted to protect the hedgehogs living close to their Lake District site. Their decline is a massive blow for UK wildlife and wildlife lovers. Chief customer officer at Parkdean Resorts, Catherine Lynn, said:
“We wanted to do something big and bold to grab the nation’s attention and encourage everyone to play their part in helping protect them from extinction. And what’s more eye-catching than a miniature holiday park, designed and built especially for hedgehogs?”
During the winter months, hedgehogs go into hibernation nestling into bushes and woodlands putting themselves at risk of being attacked by wild animals, being exposed to the elements and choosing dangerous places, particularly bonfires. Because of this, Parkdean Resorts created the made-to-measure park. The miniature park features four snug caravan homes to hibernate in; decking to enjoy the sunset; double glazing windows to keep the warmth in through winter; and a tight-knit community with neighbouring hedgehogs next door.
In less than 70 years, 98% of the UK hedgehog population has been lost which means hedgehogs are now endangered. Numbers in the wild are believed to have been around 30 million in 1950, dropping to 500,000 in 2018. If current rates of decline continue at this pace, it’s a very real possibility that everyone’s favourite garden visitor could be completely extinct before long.
Bowdleflode of the Month
Created by ISABELLA – Years 5 & 6 Arts Award Group, Funtington Primary School, West Sussex, UK
This month our Bowdleflode feature has been created by ISABELLA from Funtington Primary in West Sussex. SLOTH has a scruffy sort of fur, and eats leaves, buds and fruits and sometimes flowers. You can find Sloths high up in trees in rainforests. Sloths are very lazy and always move about slowly.
Thank you Isabella for your wonderful Bowdleflode creature!
With just a few weeks until the big day, why not give your child their very own Bowdleflode keepsake of their creation with one of our customisable designs this Christmas? A whole list of products are available – mugs, tshirts, clocks, bags, puzzles and more! With a range of options to choose we are sure there is something there to create that unique gift to treasure! You can use your child’s image or any of the original Bowdleflode characters – the options are endless! Take a look at our Bowdleshop linked below and if there’s a product you can’t find or have in mind contact us for assistance.
And remember, we’re a not-for-profit organisation, so by buying from us, you’re really helping wildlife.