Otter poop (spraint*) smells like a newly-opened pack of jasmine tea. I discovered this fun fact at the Zoology Live! Festival, held on 23-24th June to celebrate the reopening of Cambridge University’s Museum of Zoology.
Along with many other people, I’ve missed the Museum since it closed for redevelopment in 2013, so it’s a joy to see it open again on the New Museums Site, off Downing Street.
The iconic Fin Whale still welcomes visitors, drawing every eye upwards. In the entrance hall below, a stunning automaton by one of the creators of the Corpus clock offers a fun reward for cash donations.
The weekend festival had a lot going on, including children’s crafts and story-telling. Representatives of Shepreth Wildlife Park were there, with a host of live insects and reptiles, like this beautiful corn snake.
There were talks (full-length and bite-sized), workshops and urban safaris, and plenty more to keep children and grown-ups alike entertained.
Exploring the collections in the lower galleries I happened to look up and saw giant glowing jellyfish swimming across the ceiling.
The Museum offers events throughout the year, and it has Zoology Clubs for youngsters up to 18 years old. Do take your kids along. You may not find a corn snake in the courtyard, but even on the most ordinary day, this place is a treasure trove of wonderful things to discover.
Just remember to look up!
* Otter survey info can be found at Cambridgeshire Mammal Group