It’s Red Squirrel Week!

red_squirrel_wb_0We’re going nuts over Red Squirrel Week by welcoming two new additions to DZG!

To celebrate the event, which runs from September 27 to October 5, we are introducing two males to our two females, in the hope of forming a couple of breeding pairs for this endangered species.

Once a common and thriving species native to the UK red squirrels are now heading towards extinction in Britain, with many driven out of their habitats by destruction and the competitive nature of the grey squirrel for food.

Curator Matt Lewis, said: “During the last 50 years the red squirrel population has declined drastically in the UK where they’re chiefly confined to conifer forests and they’re now more commonly found across most of Europe into northern Asia and Siberia.

“At DZG we currently hold two breeding pairs of red squirrels, with the boys arriving in the last week from a collection in Merseyside.

“They’ve settled in with our girls, six-year-old Red and three-year-old Ruby very quickly, so we’re hoping we’ll soon be able to play our part in helping to boost dwindling numbers.”

The squirrels can be found on the lower zoo site opposite the chimpanzee paddock, but visitors may need to be patient to spot them, as they’re quite shy and like hiding in the trees and nesting boxes!

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Senior Keeper, Lesley Lewis, delivers hazel nut treats to the red squirrel enclosure.