South Yorkshire tourist attraction celebrates 20th anniversary

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Staff at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre in Rotherham celebrated its 20th anniversary with the birth of a Parma Wallaby just in time to mark the occasion.

Visitors were able to get a glimpse of the joey, named ‘Bob’, over the weekend - although he is expected to stay in his mother’s pouch for up to six or seven months.

Animal keeper team leader, Abigail Carter, thinks the baby will be a popular addition.

She said: “Adult Parma Wallabies are only around eighteen inches tall, so you can imagine how tiny a newborn is.

“Although they stay in the pouch for up to six or seven months, we have caught a few glimpses already and ‘Bob’ will become more confident as he grows, hopping in and out to nurse.”

The Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre at North Anston was officially opened to the public on March 23, 1994, and consisted of the walk-through Butterfly House and a small collection of owls and reptiles.

It now attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.

The centre is also home to parrots, birds of prey, meerkats and farm animals.

Head animal trainer and marketing manager, Heather Scott, said: “Personal recommendations go a long way and we work hard to deliver an exceptional visitor experience that ensures people return to us again and again and recommend the park to friends and family.

“The ability to get so close and interact with the animals, even feeding some of them, makes it incredibly memorable, and this especially helps to inspire children, who are the conservationists of the future.”

Andrew Reeve, zoo curator and manager, said: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved. 
The success of the Tropical Butterfly House is a result of the passion, dedication and teamwork of the fantastic team we have here.”