New home for red squirrel at college’s zoo

A six-week old endangered red squirrel has become the newest member of a zoological gardens in Northumberland.

Staff and students from Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens have been given a red squirrel kitten that was found on the ground by a local dog-walker in a Bedlington park.

The squirrel was brought to the zoo by Red Squirrel Northern England (RSNE), who have been working with students at Kirkley Hall to save the endangered species for a number of years after a monitoring programme was established when special cameras discovered the rare reds in nearby woodland.

Steven Sykes, of Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, said: “We have named our new arrival Kitty and our aim is to release her back into the wild here at Kirkley.

“She would normally still be with her siblings so we hope we can soft release her, a process whereby we supplement feed and provide shelter whilst Kitty establishes herself in the woodland around the centre.

“If this release goes well we will take on other reds that need rearing in the future.”

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