‘They’re missing the attention’ - How to keep up with Great Yarmouth’s wildlife from lockdown

Noah the green sea turtle at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre. Picture: Zac Macaulay

Noah the green sea turtle at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre. Picture: Zac Macaulay - Credit: Zac Macaulay

For the region’s wildlife keepers, things are pretty much “business as usual” throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

But you can still see snippets of endangered species at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens and SEA LIFE’s marine population by going online.

According to a spokesperson for Thrigby Hall, the complex has thrown open its online doors and is offering a virtual look into the daily life of its endangered species.

They said: “While the park is closed to visitors during current Covid-19 restrictions, for the keepers and wildlife it’s still business as usual.

“And courtesy of a new Facebook-live link and pre-recorded videos, visitors can once again enjoy feeding time with the tigers, watch the gibbons and play and view the red pandas in real-time action.”

The keepers are also asking virtual visitors to select which animals they want to see next - by posting their requests on the Thrigby Hall Facebook page.

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Meanwhile, on Great Yarmouth’s Marine Parade, SEA LIFE’s aquarists are busy doing all the routine feeding and tank-cleaning that can’t just stop on account of coronavirus.

Stacy Adams, an aquarist at the centre, said: “The big personalities here, like Noah the sea turtle (who is getting up to about 94kg in weight now!), are just craving human attention, while the more timid ones are definitely enjoying the peace and quiet.

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“We are minimising contact here by only having a few team members in at a time, but other than that it really is business as usual.

“Those who otherwise would have visited can keep up to date with the animals by going on our Facebook page, where we are posting routine videos of what’s going on behind the scenes!”

According to Ms Adams, being at the centre without the customary influx of people is “extremely weird”.

She said: “We can’t wait to reopen, because it’s so eerily quiet in there at the moment.”

For zoo director Scot Bird at Thrigby Hall, he hopes that a unique view into daily life “behind the scenes” will encourage online visitors to donate to the wildlife garden’s conservation fund.

He said: “We are all in this strange and uncertain situation together and I do not think that anyone is unaffected either financially or personally. But any donation will be gratefully received however large or small.

“We encourage everyone to stay safe and we look forward to our visitors returning as soon as restrictions are lifted.”

Thrigby Hall in Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Archant

Thrigby Hall in Great Yarmouth. PHOTO: Archant - Credit: Archant

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