Ribby Hall Village makes debut appearance on CBeebies

22 February 2018

Thanks to the BBC, nine year old Thornton school boy and avid animal lover Austin Trickett has had a dream come true… to work alongside his father as zoo keeper for the day.  The children’s BBC TV Channel CBeebies approached Ribby Hall Village’s Wild Discovery which is an educational and interactive wildlife centre and zoo.  Zoo Director Neil Trickett and his son Austin were asked if they would like to feature in the Fern & Rory’s Vet Tales programme; where animal experts Ferne & Rory help children understand that, just like humans, animals can get sick and sometimes need help from a vet.

The decision for Austin was an easy one and without any fear of the film crew nor in trepidation having to carefully handle the animals, Austin under the guidance of his father literally leapt at the chance of featuring with his friend Albert the Armadillo.  The programme, episode 22 is due to be aired this coming Tuesday 27th February 2018 at 16.30GMT*.  Wild Discovery’s Primary Vet and specialist Exotic Veterinary Surgeon Siuna Reid who is based out of Greenways Veterinary Health Centre in Lytham St Annes introduced the BBC to Neil and Austin Trickett at Ribby Hall Village’s Wild Discovery.

Albert the Armadillo received a full health check for the CBeebies TV programme alongside being micro chipped.  The BBC filmed at Wild Discovery over the course of two days in five-hour shifts.  Throughout the filming Wild Discovery remained open to the public and also The Village’s holiday guests.

As Austin excitably explained, “For me, the highlight of the filming was meeting and working with Rory.  I’ve got to know our vet Siuna over the last couple of years and of course Albert the Armadillo.  The whole thing was great fun!  During the filming, at times I really had to try and not laugh because the meerkats, who are incredibly nosey animals, kept trying to get in on the filming and kept on nipping at my dad to get their share of the attention!  The producer had to keep saying ‘cut’ because of my dad screeching when the meerkats managed to get at him; it’s a good job nobody heard him swear!”

When Austin was asked how he felt about his debut appearance on TV, he simply shrugged and said “It’s cool; I guess both myself and Albert are going to be famous!”

Austin’s father and Zoo Director Neil Trickett added “Austin was fantastic throughout the filming.  Whilst he’s used to handling all sorts of animals, working around the cameras and crew was a first time experience but you’d never have known.  I think that Austin took a lot from the whole experience, found it fun and also educational too.  Austin discovered for example that an armadillo is in fact a mammal, not a reptile, as many others too may think.”

Austin will be watching himself and Albert on the television from the comfort of his own front room and surrounded by his immediate family, his pets and quite possibly Albert too.  The episode filmed at Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall Village is scheduled to be aired on Tuesday 27th February 2018 at 16.30GMT.  Austin’s classmates are also going to watch a download of the episode together too.

This Summer Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall Village will celebrate its second birthday.  Wild Discovery is now home to 44 different species and a colossal 225 individual animals, many of which have been rescued.  And, just this past week Wild Discovery has also experienced a baby boom including four baby meerkats, nine baby tortoises, 12 baby stick insects, four baby guinea pigs and also more are expected to be born over the next few weeks…which will be such a perfect start to the Easter holiday period and Spring season.

Wild Discovery is an interactive and educational wildlife centre and zoo for all ages, promoting animal welfare and conservation of the world’s biodiversity.  Daily feeding sessions are available to the public which includes feeding the friendly monkeys, pelicans, meerkats and lemurs.

It was a personal ambition of Neil Trickett and his wife Ella to create a wildlife centre and zoo where children and adults alike can enjoy up close experiences with animals that they may never have seen before.  Families can visit the attraction as a day visitor or as part of their holiday when staying at Ribby Hall Village, enabling everyone to learn about the animal world.

Wild Discovery at Ribby Hall Village is currently open Saturday-Wednesday 10.30-16:30.  During Mainstream school holidays opening hours are extended seven days a week.  A day pass entry to Wild Discovery is £7 for adults and £6 for children (under 16yrs), under 3 years go for free.  Family day passes for four or five (3 adults max) are £24.  An annual pass giving unlimited access is priced £30 per adult and £25 per child.

For more information visit https://www.ribbyhall.co.uk/wild-discovery

*Can be subject to change

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