It has been a very unusual Easter Bank Holiday this year at the Lake District Wildlife Park. It was quiet without friendly visitors interacting with our animals. We missed chatting to familiar and new faces, seeing families eating their lunch in the sunshine, and the laughter of children exploring the adventure playground. We really missed you.

However, life for the Keepers and the animals that they care for continues as normal. In fact, there is a definite hum of excitement in the air as we prepare for opening again on 12 April. And just maybe some of our animals can sense this too! Frosty the Citron-Crested Cockatoo is very vocal, practising his “Hello” to welcome anyone who walks past. The Kookaburras are laughing, and Nobby the Gibbon is practising his singing and dancing!

We had some Easter babies, with the Bagot goats giving birth to adorable kids over the Easter weekend. We are anticipating the arrival of some piglets and there may also be some other surprises over the coming weeks. We will let you know!

The Alpacas, Hector, Herbie and Hugo have moved from their indoor enclosure onto their outdoor paddock. Their winter fleece is extremely thick, and they are looking fluffy and cuddly. They are inquisitive, frequently coming up to the fence for a nuzzle or to investigate pockets to see if there may be any food on offer.

Amber and Koji, our Asian Short Clawed Otters have been exploring their enclosure. Their bathing pond has been scrubbed clean. Their fence that was overdue a repair and an upgrade last year has finally been completed. This means they now have two viewing windows, so they can see us and we can see them! Being such a playful and interactive pair, this is a great improvement for all.

Our Ring-Tailed, Red-Ruffed and Black and White Lemurs have all been enjoying the sunshine. They have been leaping and jumping and simply soaking up the warmth. Lying on their backs or sitting on their haunches, all bellies have been facing the sun. They are such a delight to watch you can’t help but feel warm inside too!

There are more good feelings to be felt with our Red Pandas Mei Li and Charu, who now have prayer flags around their enclosure. Red Pandas are found in the wild in the foothills of the Himalayas. However, these beautiful gentle animals are endangered, and we support the Red Panda Network to help protect and conserve them. Traditionally Tibetans display prayer flags to encourage peace and compassion as well as strength and wisdom. Prayers and mantras are spread by the wind to disperse these good feelings.

When we open again on 12 April, we want to people to come and share some of this warmth, and positivity. Those of us who spend a lot of time around animals know how good they can make us feel. We can’t think of a better way to make a positive new start to 2021 and we want to spread the generosity we have had from you, our supporters over the last few months. Our preparations continue to make sure we are providing a safe environment in the fresh air, with social distancing measures in place and frequent hand-sanitising and hand-wash stations. We hope to see you soon.