OTTERS, Raccoon dogs, great grey owls and an Amazonian parrot are just a few of the animals joining Hobbledown adventure park, which has now been licensed to operate as a zoo.
The new animals will live alongside the fictional Rumpletumps, Skibblers and Hobblers that currently await visitors at the theme park in Epsom.
The attractions at Hobbledown are based on the work of author Angela Kecojevic, with the animals being given Potenesian names to reflect the language of the Hobblers.
Co-owner Nick de Candole said: "We don't have a problem introducing other animals to the park as long as it fits in with the story."
More than 100 animals are already at the newly opened park, ranging from wallabies and birds of prey to miniature sheep and Patagonian Mara, but new wild species can now be added.
Mr de Candole said his favourite animals currently at the park were the meercats - or Horizog in Potenesian.
"You can just sit and watch them, they're always doing something, running around or playing," he said.
The pigs are great to watch too, especially in the summer when you are outside and you can see them snuffling around in the mud.
"The children love the peacocks and chatting to the parrots. Anything that is visual, they like that, especially when the peacock parades around with his feathers out.
"The animals form part of the story here at Hobbledown. The animals, the play structures, the book and characters all add different layers to the park.
"We made the animal's Hobble houses inside the enclosures so that children can make a connection with the animals and the places that they live and realise that they are living and breathing creatures that need to be looked after."
The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 sets out how zoos in Great Britain are inspected and licensed and ensures they are safe for the public to visit, that high standards of welfare are maintained and that zoos make a contribution to conservation of wildlife
Article from Angela Brooks at getsurrey
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