Visitors to the Life Science Centre on May Bank Holiday weekend will get to meet a menagerie of animals not normally encountered as we go about our daily business. Jay Gunn of Jay's Animal Encounters will be holding afternoon 'drop-in' sessions over the weekend period to allow visitors of all ages to see and handle a pygmy hedgehog, a giant frog and toad, a python and Jay's 'ambassador' Meerkat called Maku "who loves to be cuddled and craves attention"' says Jay.
"All my animals are captive bred so are used to being in human company and being handled" he says, "I'll be showing how to hold the animal as well as standing by to make sure both the animal and the human is OK!"
"I'll be talking about their natural behavior, the problems they face in the wild, where they live, what they eat and how they survive and why they look like they do. It's inevitable that someone will say 'I want one of those!' and I'm able to explain that the animals they're seeing today are most definitely not pets but we can talk about which animals can be and why".
"I'll also be bringing Hamish the long haired guinea pig, he's a good example of the more 'traditional' pet but its extremely important to know something of an animal's behavior before making the commitment. Hamsters are popular but in fact they're rather grumpy and spend all day asleep and all night awake! Maybe not such a good idea after all!" he says.
Also appearing every day over the weekend period is a chance to see bats courtesy of the Durham Bat Group, one of whose key members is Noel Jackson, also Head of Education, at the Centre for Life. Visitors will be able to take part in batty activities and see live bats. Noel and Natalie Whitehead of the LIFE education team are keen bat conservationists in their spare time and will be running craft activities and showing the bats to visitors.
Noel says "Some people think that bats are big and creepy but all British bats are small and incredibly cute. Frankie, the Pipistrelle bat and his friends will be here to prove the point".
And continuing on the animals theme - the popular Pigs Might Fly live theatre show demonstrates the power of flight. "The science bit" says Elin Roberts, Head of Public Engagement, "comes from the laws of physics and mathematics to calculate the mass, the size and the weight and using equations. Flying high certainly isn't the most effective method of transport and we'll be demonstrating a number of methods in a fun filled 20 minutes. We're asking the audience to vote for the pig that they think has gone the furthest, which one flies the highest and which one is the fastest, with an award being presented to the most destructive pig of the show. Pigs Might Fly is just one of the high energy events presented at the Life Science Centre over the spring and summer under the sporting life banner to celebrate the Olympic Games.
And even though it’s a bank holiday, it's also the first Saturday of the month and the regular Live Skies presentation within the Planetarium with a talk and demonstration of what we can expect to see in the night sky on a typical early May cloud free night. No booking required.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the permanent exhibition Human Life and the under 7's Young Explorers Zone. Some of the exhibition area and the Motion Ride will be closed due to the preparation of the new forthcoming Curiosity Zone and 4D Motion Ride launch at the end of May.
Venue: Life Science Centre, Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP
Tel: 0191 243 8210 Reception: Tel: 0191 243 8268 Web: life.org.uk
Opening Times: Monday - Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday 10am – 6pm; Sunday 11am - 6pm (last admission time 4pm)
For current pricing visitors are asked to visit the website on www.life.org.uk
For further press info please contact: Vicky Pepys/Nicola McIntosh Centre for Life Tel: 0191 243 8209
Information is updated regularly on the website www.life.org.uk
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