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SPOOKY OR SPECTACULAR? HALLOWEEN CRITTERS BUST COMMON MYTHS AT SAFARI PARK

Traditional Halloween animals have been providing less frights and more facts during the spooky season at West Midland Safari Park.

Often associated with magic and mystery, some of the Park’s smaller creatures have been busting common myths and showing how they are cool rather than creepy.

Cloaked in superstition for many years, bats typically epitomise Halloween with their mysterious behaviour and their love of the dark. Yet the Rodrigues fruit bats at the Safari Park have been showing how being ‘as blind as a bat’ is in fact a common myth. The ‘colony’ of 13 bats use their huge brown eyes to find their fruit and are extremely nimble when flying around their cave.

All bats are able to see, with some relying on their eyes to find a tasty treat. Other bats use echolocation to navigate the landscape and cleverly avoid obstacles.

Snakes are often thought as being slimy and slippery, and a common phobia amongst many. Yet one of three common boa constrictors at the Park has been keen to prove that he is in fact covered in dry scales made from keratin - rather than being the scary, slithery serpent he is perceived to be!

Often feared for their hygiene habits, rats are another fearsome favourite for this eerie time of year. Contrary to popular belief, they are actually an extremely clean species and will even clean themselves after being handled by a human!

Amy Sewell, Head Discovery Trail Keeper, said, “People often misunderstand these animals which is mainly down to myths and not facts. As keepers, we get to work closely with these animals and our aim is to educate guests and show there is nothing to be feared.”

She added, “The scales on the boa is the same material that makes our hair and nails. Rats are extremely clean animals and the bats have such good eyesight that they can weave through the trees in our Twilight Cave when it’s dark.”

Over the half-term holiday, these charming creatures can be found in the Discovery Trail, where brave guests are able to decide for themselves whether they are frightful or fascinating. The Park’s Halloween-themed event, Spooky Spectacular, is currently running until Sunday 29 October, with opening hours extended until 9:00pm on weekends and the October half-term week. Guests are also encouraged to dress up to take part in the Halloween fun.

Spooky Spectacular and the Discovery Trail are all included in the standard admission charge of £23.00 for adults, £18.00 for children aged 3-15 years and £21.00 for concessions. Children under the age of 3 years are admitted free of charge. Admission includes a voucher for a return visit or safari gift. Admission prices reduce for arrival after 4pm during weekends and half-term. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra and are reduced in price after 5pm during half-term.

Further information and tickets are available from the Park’s official website www.wmsp.co.uk or by telephone 01299 402114. You can find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WestMidSafari