Express & Star

Reindeers get ready to ride at Owl and Falconry Centre

A wildlife centre has purchased two reindeers just in time for the Christmas festivities.

Larry Hunt, Director, with the two reindeer.

The six-month-old females have been brought in by bosses at the Owl and Falconry Centre, Bridgnorth Road, Shipley.

One has been named Prancer while the other’s name has yet to be decided by the centre’s staff.

Director Larry Hunt, aged 69, said: “The two of them are like chalk and cheese.

“The one which has yet to be given a name is very tame. It is already starting to come up to us and you can go in with her and walk with her. The other one, Prancer, she is totally different. She has got to be halter-trained.”

After hiring a reindeer last year, bosses at the centre decided they wished to purchase their own.

They collected the pair at the beginning of November and from December 2 they will be taken across Wolverhampton and beyond to visit care homes and nursing homes.

Then, from December 16, they will spend a week at the Gardenlands Garden Centre situated next to the Owl and Falconry Centre, where they will be accompanied by Santa.

Mr Hunt, from Wolverhampton, added: “We have actually already bought a third one but we can’t get that until the end of January. Reindeers have to be a certain age before the mother will accept them leaving.

“When we get the third one that will be male and we should be able after two years to breed our own.”

Explaining how they came by the reindeer, Mr Hunt explained: “When we hired one last year the money they charged was just ridiculous.

“It was after that that we looked to buy our own but they are very difficult to buy.

“Then suddenly we heard from somebody who knew somebody. We phoned and he had got some that we were able to have.

“Initially we were told we would not have them until December but he phoned out of the blue and said can you collect them at the beginning of November.”

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