There's always a new story to tell at Colchester Zoo, from welcoming new arrivals, to exciting things to see and discover.

Fences come down at UmPhafa Reserve!

in Action for the Wild & UmPhafa
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 5071
  • Print

When we purchased the final piece of the UmPhafa puzzle there were a few changes we needed to make before we took down the fences between the new land and the older established lands. We wanted to ensure there was an adequate water supply on the new lands such as dams. Currently the animals were drinking from the river and a couple of small watering holes on the northern boundary. We would need to fence off the river to stop the animals from crossing on to the neighbouring farms. Wild animals and agricultural lands don’t generally go well together which is understandable.

We had planned out all these work for over the next few months.  Then Mother Nature threw a spanner in the works and this time scale changed within a matter of a week. Wild fires ravaged through the whole reserve. The new farm was hit particularly badly. Most of the grazing was gone we would have to get these fences down immediately to allow the animals on the new lands through to our other areas so that they could find food. Our maintenance team got cracking and the fences came down.


Since the fences have come down we have seen a considerable amount of movement onto the more established areas. Animals know where the grass is greener and wasted no time in heading off the burnt areas.

An interesting animal movement we noticed was by our Giraffe. A couple of years ago we moved a large group of Giraffe onto what was then our second farm from our first farm. Separating our first and second farm was our new lands.

With the fences now down some of the female Giraffes have moved from the second farm and through the burnt new lands and are heading for their old home. We find this incredibly fascinating. There is plenty of food on the area where they have been for the last two years, but I guess who are we to tell these animals where home is. In the not too distant future when we take our final fence down between the new lands and the first farm these ladies will be able to go wherever they wish as will all the animals. This is a day that has been a long time coming in the history of UmPhafa and we cannot wait. 


5.00pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 4.00pm

Click here for further closing times


upcoming events
December 2022
Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31