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Update from the Reserve – October 2019

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 30th October 2019, last updated: 6th October 2020

Halloween has a long history in Scotland, having even been celebrated in the poem of the same name by Oor Rabbie! On the Reserve, however, spooky season has been far from scary. Instead, there has been some wonderful wildlife updates, lively tours, and plenty of non-paranormal activity captured by our SpyCams: from adorable red foxes and cheeky badgers, to an opportunistic crow and our impressive buzzard. Continue reading to find out more!


We’re Feeline Good About This

Close-Up Shot of Hybrid Scottish Wildcat
Back in August, we shared with you what happened with two out of the three Scottish wildcats in our rehabilitation facility, and we finally have an update regarding the third cat. The DNA test has sadly confirmed what some of us already suspected – the cat is not a Scottish Wildcat, having failed the pelage scoring as well. This means that it is not pure enough to be accepted for the captive breeding program or to be released in the wild without being neutered.

We were then faced with two options: either we neuter and release it, or we spare the complicated operation and keep it, well cared for, in the biggest rehabilitation enclosure in Europe. After having consulted with experts and specialists, we are happy to announce we are going for a combination of both options. For its own health, the cat is most likely going to be neutered in the future, but for the foreseeable future, she will stay with us! She has already been moved to the refurbished and biggest enclosure – you can watch the smooth trap and release process here – and she is a happy and relaxed cat.



New Hoglets & Hedgehog Hospital

Collage of Hedgehog Hospital being built and new baby hedgehog
This month we have also welcomed two adorable, young hedgehogs, also known as hoglets. They were found by a dog and rescued by Crown Vets, who came to help with not just the delivery but the safe homing of the adorable hoglets. These two are much smaller than the current residents at the Forever Home, and they are not ready to be outside yet, as they are certainly below the minimum hibernation weight.

Luckily, the Hedgehog Hospital is well under construction, and since it is already insulated and watertight, it has been the perfect temporary home for the new spiky guests. The siblings are safe, warm and dry, cosy and well-fed – and already having a little too much fun with a paper chase.



Shepherds Hut Reception

Reception at Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve
At the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve in Duror, you can find our Visitor Centre and our Shepherds Hut Reception. Since a lot of you haven’t visited yet, we wanted to show you what our cosy cabin looks like. With a selection of tasteful gift items, some exclusive to the Reception and not sold in our online Accessories shop, it is a stop you can’t miss if you choose to visit.



Never Stop Learning

Collage of Rural skill team and Andrew at Hessilhead Animal Rescue Centre
While the Rural skill team were back last week to complete the landscaping and tree planting project, our small animal expert, Andrew, is also doing some learning of his own. Down at Hessilhead Animal Rescue Centre for a couple of weeks, his focus is on hedgehog rescue and care. Hessilhead Animal Rescue Centre rescues and saves hundreds of animals every year, making them one of the best to learn from!



Clip of the Month: Red Deer Roar

Every year at this time, I put out extra SpyCams hoping to catch the stags during the rutt. While professional wildlife cameramen catch amazing footage, they are out stalking, watching and waiting for days at a time; I just set up cameras and hope to catch something. Alas, all we captured this year was a roar, maybe next year! Make sure you have the volume turned up.

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Written by: Stewart Borland

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