Aktion Fischotterschutz e.V.29386 HankensbüttelGermany
Phone: +49 5832 98080
The Otter Centre has set itself the goal of exhibiting native Mustelidae species and showcasing their habitats. The badger exhibit is located on an artificially raised hill and represents a hedgerow landscape. The animal barrier is made of a 1m high lattice fence that is secured against climbing by electric wires in various heights. The entire exhibit has reinforcement steel mesh (mesh openings 10 x 10 cm) under the ground as digging protection.
The badgers’ lifestyle is presented to the visitors in a tunnel where the badgers can be observed in underground walkways and dens.
Space allocation in square meters:
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Many works were conducted by staff.
Aktion Fischotterschutz e.V, Hankensbüttel, Germany
- Construction: Aktion Fischotterschutz e.V, Hankensbüttel, Gemany
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The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:
The natural vegetation as well as tree trunks, piles of wood and roots structure the exhibit and give the badgers opportunities for foraging. An artificial burrow system with hay padded sleeping dens was built into the hill. The animals can reach it through concrete tubes.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:
The keepers get into the exhibit through a double door system that is located next to the fence separating the two parts of the enclosure so that they can access both parts and operate the dividing slide from there.
The sleeping boxes in the indoor area can be reached through hatches.
FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:
The front area of the exhibit slopes into a shallow ditch. The fence is placed at the deepest point, so the visitors have a view into the exhibit across a small hedge along the front covering the fence. Visitors can walk stairs to an elevated area offering a good view of the exhibit.
A path leads through the tunnel below the hill that is designed with natural stones and roots. Here, visitors can observe the badgers through glass panels in their burrows and the sleeping dens.
Several panels inform about the badger’s lifestyle and its hedgerow habitat. The ecological importance of hedges for the landscape is explained. Hedges form corridors connecting forests to fields and meadows and offer food and hiding places for many animals such as insects, hedgehog, badgers, birds and hoofed game. They act as wind breaks and thereby collect humidity.
The visitors can do an animal voice quiz and learn about other inhabitants of the hedgerow landscape.
The exhibit consists of two parts that can be separated or connected by slides.
Manholes to the underground burrows are located on the hill next to the viewing windows. Therefore, the glass panels are easy to reach from the backside and are cleaned weekly. At the beginning, light from the manholes reached the burrows. As this contradicted the desired effect in the burrows, the hatches were shaded and artificial light was installed.
The badgers can be locked into the sleeping dens or into the whole burrow system for safe outdoor work. A catching system (box trap) is integrated into the tunnel, invisible to the visitors.
The burrows are all short and have only little curves so they are well visible for animal management.
Local labor and materials were used during planning and construction.