Newquay Zoo Paw Prints Newsletter April 2000


PP 12 P1 April 2000
An important and controversial topic to address – Why have Zoos? 
WMNews Feb 97 Wendy
Wendy Winstanley and our Busy Hedgehog / Wildlife Hospital still in the news 1997 and 2000


PP 12 P2 April 2000.jpg
Penguin Club and Wildlife Hospital News 


PP 12 P3 April 2000.jpg
Arrivals and Departures and Herb Gardens for Monkeys … we have pictures in our archive of these worth tracking down. 
HND St Austell College Connie yawn
Very shortly in September 2000 the first students would arrive for these courses at the Zoo – Lizzie our lioness 
PP 12 P4 April 2000
Fota Wildlife Park Education Conference 1999
Pelicans Fota 1999
Fota Wildlife Park Pelicans 1999
PP 12 P5 April 2000.jpg
Fota Wildlife Park 


Capybara Fota 1999
Fota Wildlife Park Capybara group 1999 – a zoo with lakes and islands that reminds me lots of Newquay Zoo. 

PP 12 P6 April 2000

PP 12 P7 April 2000



PP 12 P8 April 2000
Possibly the saddest page in the whole of our Zoo Newsletters … I shall have to track down a photo of Marc from amongst our thousands of photos. 

I remember Marc and his family well, he was a delightful and sometimes exhausting bundle of energy and curiosity! The day we heard that he had died in December 1999  was one of the saddest days I remember at the Zoo.  Mike Thomas also talked about Marc on his Wild Planet Trust YouTube interview and at his 50th Anniversary talk on 26th May 2019

A quiet place at the entrance to the Oriental Gardens area where Marc’s ashes are scattered (taken 2019)  – his parents Anne and Dave  when they still lived in Cornwall used to decorate the middle tree at Christmas! 

When Mike Thomas retired in 2003 he continued work on the Marc’s Arc charity and eventually the remainder of these funds went to Little Harbour Children’s Hospice Southwest. Little Harbour families keep in touch with us at the Dreamnight evening event each year, bringing many of their  children with serious health conditions and their families to the zoo for one special night.

I’m sure Marc and his family would approve!

More news on the zoo in 2000 in our next Paw Prints newsletter reprinted with added colour photographs!

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo Education using Newquay Zoo Archive images as part of our ongoing 50th Anniversary celebrations. 

You can still enjoy our popular free “Then and Now Trail” remains up of vintage Newquay Zoo images and a brief colourful history of Newquay Zoo on the Timeline by the Dragon Maze.


Paw Prints November 1999 Eclipse edition

PP 11 P1 NOV 1999
National recognition at last for our tourism business work 1999.

Republished – on this blog –  for the first time since 1999, our November 1999 Paw Prints newsletter from Newquay Zoo – now with added colour, as  we couldn’t afford the colour printing at the time. 

1999 HSBC Small Business
A proud Mike Thomas (centre) HSBC Small Business of the Year Award 13 October 1999
PP 11 P2 NOV 1999
Exciting news about the college partnership from Mike Thomas, late 1999. Within a year the first FE and HE students would arrive. 
2003 college award MN SM MK Colour
Our 2003 BIAZA zoo award for this college project – Director Mike Thomas had recently retired by the time we were awarded this in late 2003. 

Cornwall College Newquay is still going strong 20 years later, having taught thousands of conservation and zoology students since it opened in September 2000.

PP 11 P3 NOV 1999
News of the Sensory Sculpture being carved 

As well as College plans, business awards, there was also news of one of our first sensory interactive statues of three lemurs or monkeys outside the Tropical House carved by Cornish sculptor Reece Ingram.  Sadly this in no longer in one piece.

reece ingram sensory sculpture 1999
Sculptor Reece Ingram Newquay Zoo 1999
sensory sculpture jenny agutter
1999 / 2000 Jenny Agutter’s visit. 

I went over to Belgium and Holland to visit EAZA zoos in 1999, after having previously spoken about our MFL Languages project at the European Zoo Education Conference. 

PP 11 P6 NOV 1999
First mention of the Spraying Tapir …
spraying tapir sign 2000
Newquay Zoo’s spraying tapir sign c. 2000 – 2005/6 
braille statues amersfoort zoo 1999
Amersfoort Zoo otter and prairie dog sensory sculptures and braille signage 1999
PP 11 P7 NOV 1999
I still use the photo archive of signs and enclosures from this 1999 tour … 
talking Stones hogue veluwe holland
Talking stones – touch them and they talk, explaining how they got to Hogue Veluwe national Park in Holland through the ice age movement of stones and glaciers. Clever! 1999. 

One of the other big  tourism (non)events of Summer 1999 was the Solar Eclipse on 11 August 1999. We kept notes on how our animals behaved and also put up notices to safely shape how our human animals behaved in the darkness.

Some of our Eclipse documents to be explored in an Eclipse 1999-2019 blog entry in August 2019 

PP 11 P4 NOV 1999

Look out for our 20th eclipse Anniversary Blogpost which will be posted on or around 11 August 2019, revealing some of the oddities of our Eclipse archive. 

PP 11 P5 NOV 1999.jpg
Eclipse News 1999 – next total eclipse update Newquay Zoo 2090? 
Some of our handwritten eclipse animal behaviour notes – these collated by Mike Thomas 11 August 2019. 

PP 11 P9 NOV 1999

PP 11 P8 NOV 1999.jpg
More new arrivals – Squirrel Monkeys ready for the New Lake island house …

Tyson the appropriately named clever bruiser group leader of our Squirrel Monkeys  had form, a long naughty behaviour list on his animal records from other zoos before he arrived here.

The Squirrel Monkey island in preparation can be seen here:

PP 11 P10 NOV 1999.jpg
New arrivals news Late 1999 – and news of our Bugs Tunnel paintings, in place of the closed rabbit warren (Now Toad Hall and the Red Panda area, 2019.) 
old bugs tunnel painting NZ 99
Bugs Tunnel painting 1999 which I did with genuine ‘bushman’ help from Lindi, one of our seasonal South African staff, who grew up with Bushmen tribes people on her family game reserve.  
PP 11 P11 NOV 1999.jpg
New arrivals – Sadsack the penguin chick, Bali Starlings  and bird keeper James Gorman, who was  related to the well known Conservative MP Teresa Gorman. 

PP 11 P12 NOV 1999.jpg

Halloween 1999 Mark Norris
Mark Norris storytelling on The Tarzan Trail Halloween, Newquay Zoo 31st October 1999 (Nick Callender left) 

Photos released from our Archives as we count down the last few weeks to our Newquay Zoo 50th Birthday Anniversary on Sunday 26 May 2019.

Look out for our Eclipse 20 years on blog post in August 2019.

April Fools Day 1999 Photo Update

April Fools day 1999 2000
Bill Eade our ferryman for the Day – and Mark Norris –  April Fools Day 1999. Trumpeter Swan nest platform in the background.

** Update / Additional Photos Added **

Before our Squirrel Monkeys moved  onto the Capybara sunning island in April 1999, we had an unusual ceremony there on our main lake on the first of April.   You can read the whole story here:

Some new photos have turned up whilst scanning slowly the many photos in our Archive.

Ferry to Toilets
Ferry To Toilets caption – April Fools Day 1999
April Fools Jo Topham Mark Norris
The grand opening of our island toilets?  Mark Norris announces and Jo Topham stocks the essentials in our  new Island toilets, April Fools Day 1999. Capybara and Crane sheds in the background.

2019 update 

Twenty years on from this April Fools Day stunt, Jo and Mark are still happily working at Newquay Zoo and remember the event well; both  have been interviewed for our 50th Anniversary videos. Bill Eade ‘the ferryman’ has now retired.

Twenty years on, the far empty playing field is now the Savanna, home since 2009 to our Wildebeest, Zebra and Nyala antelope herds.

All change! Rare Black and White Ruff Lemurs from Madagascar now live on the island with an updated house. The Capybaras have moved in with the Tapirs across the zoo, both enjoying the same plunge pool, whilst the Squirrel monkeys now live on the Monkey Walk, in sight of their old island home.

Photos released from our Archives as we count down the last few weeks to our Newquay Zoo 50th Birthday Anniversary on Sunday 26 May 2019.




Newquay Zoo pawprints Newsletter No. 10a 1999


PP 10a P1 May 1999
Front page news May 1999

Lemur Island 1999 MT book source

PP 10a P2 May 1999
April Fools 1999
April Fools day 1999 2000

Bill Eade and me Mark Norris testing out the Zoo April 1st Toilet Ferry 1999

PP 10a P4 May 1999
The Beak Issue May 1999

sensory sculpture jenny agutter

PP 10a P6 May 1999
Events and news of Spring Summer 1999
PP 10a P5 May 1999
Mention of our 30th Birthday Party May 1999 20 years ago.

PP 10a P7 May 1999

The sensory sculpture plans 1999 sketch by Reece Ingram
PP 10a P8 May 1999
Final pages with a mention of that coming summer’s big event The 1999 Eclipse

Reprinted 20 years on / blog posted by Mark Norris At Newquay Zoo from our Archive collection in February 2019 as part of our countdown towards our 50th Anniversary on 26 May 1969/ 2019.

Newquay Zoo Paw Prints Newsletter No. 9 Winter 1998

PP 9 P1 WIN 1998
(Painful) Front page news Winter 1998 at Newquay Zoo 

Our ‘Christmas’ /’ New Year’ Edition of our Newquay Zoo Pawprints Newsletter No. 9 brings us to Winter 1998 and events for New Year 1999, twenty years ago.

Colour pictures added from our Newquay Zoo Archive and Press Cuttings.

PP 9 P2 WIN 1998
News of Christmas 1998 including the zoo school wriggly nativity.

I remember several years from 1994 onwards of these “wriggly nativities” with live Village Farm animals down on the straw baled Café Patio. Great fun.

WMN 1712 98 Zoo nativity
Zoo nativity Western Morning News 17 December 1998
CorGuar 3112 98 Zoo Nativity
Cornish Guardian 31 December 1998 – names removed to save embarrassment of some cool 20-somethings! – and Zoo Coordinator Jo Dixon with my favourite Zebu, Zebedeee. Village Farm.
PP 9 P3 WIN 1998
Somewhere unscanned in our archives we have pictures of Clive Pig in action …
The Beast Clive Pig 1998
More good zoo fun 1998 with an empty Puma Enclosure to put actors and storytellers in ! 
PP 9 P4 WIN 1998
Hello free-ranging Mara, goodbye exotic planting …
Mara 2 NZ Marketing
Watch out! From the Zoo Archives, a free-ranging Mara near yummy exotic planting.
PP 9 P5 WIN 1998
Big Yellow Elephants?!? Off to Bristol Zoo for a few days for me, November 1998
PP 9 P6 WIN 1998
Exotic Pet problems and the arrival of baby pig Hamlet …
PP 9 P7 WIN 1998
Zoo 2000? Counting down and planning towards the 1999 11th August Eclipse?
PP 9 P8 WIN 1998.jpg
Sadly we have found no picture of Rob in our archive so far but I remember him and his Guyanese wife Chandra. She said the Tropical House felt like home, it was the only place she felt warm in the UK.

Paw Prints No. 9 republished / blog posted by Mark Norris from the  Newquay Zoo Archive, Newquay Zoo, Christmas 2018 / January  2019.

Colour pictures  added from our Newquay Zoo Archive and Press Cuttings.

Join us as we count down towards our Newquay Zoo 50th birthday / anniversary on May 26th 1969 / 2019.

Newquay Zoo Paw Prints Newsletter No. 8 July 1998

This month’s December blog post, we reprint the black and white Newquay Zoo Newsletter Pawprints – our 8th edition or  Vol 2, No 3 – for the period July /August 1998, with added colour photos that we couldn’t afford to print at the time!

PP8 P1 JULY 1998
Front page News August 1998

Tippy’s Café opening is mentioned – and here it is as it was. c. 1998, still recognisably an old mongoose enclosure from the mid 1990s (and walled small animal space for otters in  1969?)

tippys 1999
Recently new for 1998? Tippy’s Snack bar was once a mongoose enclosure …

The Rescued Pumas need a House  fundraising story reaches a happy conclusion.

NZ Pumas 19946
Most probably Shane and Tina the Pumas in the old Lion House 1994-98, Newquay Zoo. Demolished 2018.
Lion and puma talk 1996 Mike Thomas SP132
Lion and Puma feeding talk (Mike Thomas in green) sometime in 1996 – 1998
NZ Pumas 19946 old lion house
Old Lion House c. 1996 as Puma Rescue enclosure (donated photos)

PP8 P2 JULY 1998

NZ Puma House 1996 SP142
The old 1969/70 Lion House, rescue home for Pumas 1994-98 whilst we fundraised for a new one. Now demolished 2018.
jenny agutter july 1998 opening wmn
Jenny Agutter opens the new Puma Enclosure 17 July 1998 (Western Morning News)
PP8 P3 JULY 1998
Michelle’s otter-ly brilliant enrichment research


Cinnamon grey Otter PC
Cinnamon our unusually pale otter cub. (postcard c. 1997/8)
PP8 P4 JULY 1998
1998 Further rumours of Exotic Big Cats –  “Don’t go up on the Moors!”
PP8 P5 JULY 1998
Still being offered 20 years later and now available in Spanish, very rarely requested in German (my German is now very very rusty)
PP8 P6 JULY 1998
That Exotic Pet Problem 1998


PP8 P7 JULY 1998
Not so sleepy or slow? Within a year or two these Sloths would surprise us with a baby
PP8 P8 JULY 1998
Two new staff … ‘PB’ and Jo Dixon, long since moved on …


Philippa Brakes dec 2000 turtle stranding
Philippa Brakes in the Cornish Guardian December 14th 2000.  We still have the preserved shell and flipper of this in the Education Department.
jo Dixon
Jo Dixon, pictured in the Cornish Guardian October 1st 1998


Jo Dixon 1999
Jo Dixon in action, Helston Packet 1 April 1999

Scheduled blog post by Mark Norris, using our Newquay Zoo Archive collection, as our monthly blogpost, counting down towards our 50th Anniversary on 26 May 1969.




Paw Prints Newsletter No 1 August 1995

PP 1 P1 AUG 95
Paw Prints No. 1, August 1995: Original front cover made from headed paper, Letraset titles and Newquay Animal logo added top left. Black and White (Newquay Zoo Archive).

Many people have said to me “I don’t like Zoos …”

being the opening words by Mike Thomas of the first Paw Prints newsletter from Newquay Zoo, August 1995.

Paw Prints newsletter ran for almost ten years before merging with Paignton Zoo News  c. 2004 and all this is now replaced by websites, social media and blogs, things unimaginable then. By 1996 we had a zoo website of sorts.

The Noah’s Ark theme of this first Editorial by Mike Thomas in the first edition of Paw Prints (August 1995) was one that he was to return to over the next ten years and was celebrated in our Ark ticket entrance, new c. 1994/5,  rebuilt since but it still doggedly retains the Ark name today.

ark gates mural 1997
Ark entrance and gate murals c. 1996

Zoos were heavily criticised in the late 1980s and early 1990s by some people on animal welfare grounds. Some zoos closed, others like Newquay Zoo struggled to survive financially and improve its enclosures.

The first Paw Prints Newsletter came at a point of much rebuilding on a very tight budget. Hence Mike Thomas  and Jon Blount spend much time in their first editorial and articles setting out a vision of what small zoos like Newquay could become, with the support of visitors, working with many other good modern zoos around the world.

Looking at the logo used on the front page, we were proudly Newquay Animal World – subtitled Wildlife Rescue and Conservation.  These two themes make up much of this first edition in August 1995. The first edition  was probably  written by a combination of Jane Angwin, Jon Blount and Mike Thomas. The ‘Animal World’ name would change by the time I first edited Paw Prints issue 3 for ‘Newquay Zoo’ in Summer 1996.

These early Paw Prints editions are quite simply made, cobbled together using a very basic PC word processor in the Zoo Curator’s office (the only computer in the zoo in 1995/6),  a black and white photocopier, Letraset lettering transfers, black and white photographs, line drawings, ink pens, scissors, glue and sweat.

They were usually  photocopied by the friendly folks at Quintdown Press in Newquay for sale in the zoo shop or sending to members, adopters and local schools, all to promote the zoo. We were encouraged as staff to take them home and leave a few  around in waiting rooms whenever we had a doctor or dentist appointment.

PP1 Black Ape enclosure photo 1995 600dpi
Close up of photo of Bear Pit becoming the Macaque enclosure. Paw Prints 1st Edition Aug 1995

As there is  no  colour in these Paw Prints , I have added some relevant colour photos from our Archive or of the scenes today. Here is the 2018 scene of the 1995 enclosures and animals shown on page 2:

The same Sulawesi  Macaque enclosure today 2018 with those distinctively shaped rocks.
Now 2018: Where swans and wildfowl waddled, this is our front lawn and café entrance area.
PP 1 P3 AUG 95
Page 3 Hedgehog Hospital  info with the Hedgehog parade pic borrowed from our 1994/5 poster
NZ A4 Animal World poster c 19945
Newquay Animal World 1994/5 era A4 size poster – spot the hedgehog parade.

Advertising posters may have been colour in 1994/5 but it was far too expensive an option for the Paw Prints Newquay Zoo newsletter. This remained mostly black and white until August 2003 when we switched to a colour front cover. Shortly after c. 2004 we merged the Paignton and Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts newsletters to provide a full colour A4 newsletter, covering news from each zoo.

PP 1 P4 AUG 95
Senior keeper Claire Roper interviewed about the Newquay Animal World / Zoo Wildlife Hospital by 1995 Education Officer Jane Angwin. Mike King the 1995 zoo vet is mentioned.

Hedgehog Rescue and our Wildlife Hospital 1994 – 2004

These pages all bring back many rich and smelly memories for me as I spent many happy hours helping out  in our Newquay Zoo  Wildlife Hospital in the quieter times of the year in between education sessions,  from about 1996 onwards. Working with native wild animals in Britain as well as ‘at risk’ species overseas were both important to the Newquay Zoo of 1995.

Mark Norris hedgehog hospital duty 1996
Mark Norris working in our Wildlife Rescue Hospital at Newquay Zoo, c. 1996. Not a uniform day obviously! (Newquay Zoo Archive)


Hopefully the prickly descendants of rescued hedgehogs Spike, Oily, Bumble and Bill are still enjoying a wild life in Cornwall. Some of the more injured rescued hedgehogs were released into the zoo grounds and hedgehogs were certainly still around when I was working late evening  several years ago.

PP 1 P5 AUG 95
page 5 A few rescued Hedgehog success stories  and a warning about invasive flatworms!

Apologies for the copy or scan quality of the next three pages. We don’t have the original pages of the next three page article on “The Modern Zoo “ by Zoo Curator Jon Blount, as they were probably kept and heavily photocopied to help answer student and visitor enquiries about the role of a “Modern Zoo”.

Best job I ever had“, he recently mentioned when I contacted Jon about our 50th anniversary in May 2019. 

Jon Blount, then recently  graduated, was our Newquay Zoo Curator from 1994 to 1997 before returning to college to do research.  Today  (2018)  Jon is a Professor  of Animal EcoPhysiology and Director of Postgraduate Research at the University of Exeter (based not very far away at the Penryn / Tremough Campus).

I wonder what Jon would makes of his 1995 article today, comparing his Zoo Curator job as it would have been in Victorian times or the early 1900s to that he enjoyed ‘today’ in the 1990s ? He’s a busy man but hopefully he’ll have time at some point to reread it and comment, and we shall include this here if possible.

What do we learn about developments in the 1995 era zoo from this article? 

New 1994/5  arrivals that Jon mentioned include  the Asian Short Clawed Otters, a species we still hold and breed today in 2018. Kafue Flats Lechwe antelope and Damara Zebra “Etosha” are no longer with us. They lived on the original ‘new’ mixed species African Plains (where the rare Philippine Deer now live), but since 2009 we  have  an expanded African Savanna section with Chapman’s Zebra, Black Wildebeest and Nyala antelope. The last elderly female Lechwe moved in with this mixed herd in 2009. The Meerkats now live at top end of the zoo.

Jon mentions the arrival of some escapologist Banded Mongoose (housed where Tippys Café now stands),  two  Sooty Mangabeys (oddly behaved ex-pets “Misha” and “Ramrod”), free range Cotton-topped Tamarins (pictured) released from the Tropical House in 1996 into the trees near the Maze.   We still have Crowned Cranes on our main lake edges.

PP 1 P6AUG 95
Page 6, 1st Edition Paw Prints, Newquay Zoo, August 1995

Conservation, Education, Research and Recreation – still pretty much the role of a good ‘Modern Zoo’ in 2018. 

PP 1 P7 AUG 95
Page 7 1st Edition Paw Prints, Newquay Zoo, August 1995
PP 1 P8 AUG 95
Final / Back page 8, 1st Edition Paw Prints, Newquay Zoo, August 1995

By 1994 5 we had joined and been mentored into membership of the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland with its zebra head logo, now known as BIAZA or the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums

We also joined EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, around the same time, widening the range of breeding programmes, studbooks and loans we could be involved in

We remain highly active members of both BIAZA and EAZA and so are involved in today’s version of co-operative breeding programmes for increasingly rare animals, zoo research and working on overseas conservation projects in country.

PP1 Black Ape enclosure photo 1995 600dpi

Jon Blount also mentions the creation of the Sulawesi Crested Macaque monkey group with animals on “breeding loan” from London, Marwell and Jersey Zoo. This species are still doing well here as part of that cooperative breeding programme but are now Critically Endangered on their home island of Sulawesi. One of the early youngsters born to our first Alpha Male Hemlock, a 1998 baby known as Chekeeto  still heads our group in 2018.

A new Puma enclosure design competition is mentioned in 1995 for two rescued Pumas from a zoo which closed at Haigh in Wigan.  This Puma enclosure in 2018 now houses Carpathian Lynx and their recent twin kittens.

Michelle Redmore penguin 19967
Newquay Zoo Keeper Michelle Redmore feeding a hand-reared Humboldt Penguin c. 1996 (photo by Paul Armiger , c/o Newquay Zoo Archive collection)

Research 1995 and 2018 

Research projects mentioned at the time include hand rearing Penguins, along with studying enclosure design and dietary effects on the behaviour of nocturnal Kinkajou and Sooty Mangabey monkeys. Botth these last two species  we no longer work with. However similar nutrition, behaviour and enrichment research by students still continues today supervised by a full-time Research Officer, Dr. Kathy Baker.

Cheski lemur
Mark Tomaszewski “Cheski” and female Black Lemur (only males are pure black).  Archive photograph from Mike Thomas’ memoir. Strange Things Happened on My Way To The Zoo.

The Black Lemur Forest Project education and conservation project in Madagascar mentioned in our 1995 newsletter 1995 was a forerunner of the many overseas conservation and education projects that we are still involved in as the three zoos of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Black Lemur Forest Project tshirt design 1990
Black Lemur Forest Project fundraising t shirt,  many were sold in our zoo shop from 1994 onwards for several years; this tatty example is  still in our Newquay Zoo archive.

Ring-tailed lemurs have now occupied and bred on the ‘Black Lemur island’ for over fifteen years, as the last of our Black Lemur group moved off on breeding loan elsewhere.

lemur island nd
Ring-tailed lemurs on the Lemur Island, c. 2003? Photo by volunteer Connie Slaney.

That was our first edition of Paw Prints, Newquay Zoo, August 1995 revisited and updated looking back from 2018. I hope you enjoyed reading it again or afresh.

Look out for the second edition Christmas / December 1995 to be featured soon.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo Archive as part of our NZ50 50th Anniversary preparations,