Power from Zoo Poo

Bowdleflode News No. 42 – November 2021
Baby rhino following its mother through the bush with it nose millimetres from her back leg.

Collecting African Wild Donkey poo

Local to Bowdleflode HQ, Marwell Zoo, is generating renewable energy using biomass technology. Poo from endangered species of zebra, oryx and wild ass is being used to heat buildings at the zoo.

The initiative is heating a large tropical house, saving an estimated 220 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year.  Dr Duncan East, Head of Sustainability, said: “Using heat in this way from our own animals is unique in the UK and as far as we know across the world.”

Previously 600 tonnes of animal waste was taken off-site to be composted, resulting in significant carbon transport costs.  The urgent need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and leave high carbon sources in the ground means fast action is required to replace the oil-fired heating systems used in buildings on site.  A previous waste stream in abundant supply is now a valuable resource.  Zoo poo is used to power a boiler at the Energy for Life: Tropical House attraction, with further plans to connect it to other buildings across the site and become carbon neutral by next year.

The Zoo Poo lorry delivers!

The Tropical House at Marwell Zoo

The Zoo Poo lorry delivers!

The Tropical House at Marwell Zoo

Hope in the Highlands

Victoria, the UK’s only female polar bear

The UK’s only female polar bear, Victoria, has now entered her cubbing box for the winter season at the Highland Wildlife Park (Kingussie) and staff are hopeful a new resident could be on its way soon!

Victoria, who turns 25 in December, was born at the Rostock Zoo in Germany and brought to Scotland in 2015.  She is mum to the UK’s first cub for 25 years, Hamish.  He made history when he was born and went on to become a visitor favourite during his three years in the Highlands but was moved to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in November 2020.  Visitors won’t be able to spot Victoria over the coming  months, but they can still see the resident male polar bears – Arktos and Walker. 

Polar bears are a vulnerable species under threat due to the loss of their habitat with global warming causing ice to melt earlier each year, as well as oil and gas mining, and the reduction of seals available to eat in their habitat.  Due to this, the polar bear population is expected to decrease significantly in the next 40 years.

Bowdleflode of the Month

This month’s Bowdleflode has been created by Anya




Anya describes her creation as:

“A panda, a penguin and a leopard. Their diet consists of eucalyptus, fruit and berries but their favourite food is tomatoes. They inhabit the jungle, close to rivers and under bushes.
They are shy and playful creatures.”

Thank you Anya for your wonderful new addition to Bowdleflode Safari! ? ?