Zoology Live!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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* Otter survey info can be found at Cambridgeshire Mammal Group

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