Mongoose in Blåvand Zoo (Denmark):
Privately operated Blåvand Zoo lies on the outskirts of the small
community of Blåvand in western Denmark. Without receiving any public support or financial assistance, this zoo has
to rely completely on ticket-selling and merchandising, but is offering an unusual arrangement of different species within
a rather limited expanse.
Raindeers are marching on whipped grass, resisting gusty winds from the North-Sea. Next door lions are roaring
out of an old barn, which causes nearby ostrich to put their heads into the sand of the West-Danish Marsh.
The zoo is very limited in its financial resources, but strives to ensure proper care, feeding and medical-help for
the animals. At various enclosures, food is provided to feed the animals.
Some minor faults in composition and design makes some of the special charm of this unique zoo.
The banded Mongoose:
Together with squirrels, coatis and monkeys, the two banded mongooses are kept
in a divided enclosure in a large barn.
The enclosures are clean and tend to match the needs and native habitat of the animals.
Murals, paintings and plants accentuate the welfare orientation.
However, sections of the barn are not yet with the expectations of the zoo-management: During low-season winter months,
the enclosure of the banded mongooses has to be redesigned:
Currently, the accommodation of the two banded mongoose encompasses about 10 sqm and is lined from top to bottom
with a tight mesh. Thus, photographing and sighting the two lively mongooses is unfortunately quite difficult.
The floor of the enclosure is covered with wood-chips. Some branches and tree-stumps give the animals some basic
However, lots of sand and some large stones would match the natural habitat of the banded mongoose much better: Banded
mongooses are animals of the African and Asian Savannah and like it to rummage the sandy soil in search for food. This is
the point, why mongooses are often called 'scratching animals'.
Zoo-management announces, the major improvements are on its way: The wood-chips will be replaced by sand, rocks
Creating some kind of a hiding place, where the animals can retreat when feeling stressed out or being
disturbed by visitors, would be great and highly desirably!
Acrylic glass in the roof of the barn lets penetrate some daylight. But in particular the enclosure of the sun-loving
mongooses gets very little sunlight. In other zoos, the desert-dwellers gladly accepted heat-lamps, which the mungos
in Blåvand are completely missing.
But the zoo-management announced further improvements: During upcoming winter-months, additional light-sources are
going to be installed. There is hope, the mongooses will spend the cold and wet winter-months near the North-Sea in
warmth and comfort.
In summer, the animals have access to an outdoor-enclosure through a passage in wall of the barn. Unfortunately during
inspection in autumn 2010, the outdoor-complex was not open for the animals due to repair and maintenance.
Meanwhile, zoo-management assured, the outdoor-expanse has been re-opened so that the animals can enjoy some
warm and sunny days.
The enclosure - there is some potential for improvement:
Far away from the big cities, zoos have quite a low number of random visitors. Most likely, most tickets at Blåvand Zoo are primarly sold in the summertime, when tourists crowd the beaches of the North-Sea beaches and use the
zoo as a welcome break while sunbathing on the beach for days.
Without public subsidies, calculation and operation of a zoo is fragile, because revenues are seasonal and animal-care
has to be ensured the whole year round.
In this context, it is remarkable, how loving and professional this zoo is run!
Zoo-management in Blåvand has a professional manner to deal with criticism: After inspection in septmber 2010 the
sub-optimal placement of the two banded Mongoose was reported and criticized. Zoo-management reacted
appreciatively and agreed to improve keeping conditions very soon:
- Replacing floor-covering, changing the substrate with sand and stones
- Redesign of the external enclosure (already completed)
- Enable access to the outdoor-enclosure (already completed)
- Acquisition of an efficient lighting system
- Installation of a heat-lamp
For the benefit of the mongooses, we will continue to follow the situation in Blåvand and report about the progress
Please stay tuned!
After quite some time waiting, there is a reply, finally: After Blåvand-Zoo finished the re-design of the mongoose-enclosure,
they ended up in making a different decision though. They concluded, they could not provide the ideal enclosure for
the animals, so they decided to give them a new home and donated the animals to another zoo in Munkfors (Denmark as well).
There is a family of Banded-Mongoose waiting for them. Hopefully socialising proceeds well and the Blåvand-Mongooses
blend in the existing pack without any troubles!
Actually, in Blåvand-Zoo there are no more mongooses to visit since February 2011 - this decision was made in the
benefit of the animals which let us hold the zoo-management in very high regards! Thank You!
How can I support the mongooses?
As mentioned, there are no more mongoose at Blåvand Zoo. But other animals need your support, too!
Curiously, the Blåvand Zoo does not operate an animal-adoption-program. Probably the concept of animal-sponsorship
in a zoo, which is likely to be visited primary by tourists, is not so very much demanded after.
Since the zoo gets no public support at all, donations would contribute to improving all animals'
housing-conditions and welfare.
All animals very much appreciate and welcome your help!
Thank you for your most helpful support!