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West Wales: This £600k two-bedroom bungalow includes some unusual tenants…

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zoohouseA TRULY unique property has recently come onto the market and offers the chance to partake in an extraordinary business venture. The 2 bedroom home, set on the rugged Ceredigion coastline, boasts panoramic views – and did we mention it also comes with a zoo?

This small but well maintained business is situated in the beautiful seaside town of Borth, which lies just 6 miles outside of the university town of Aberystwyth and, according to estate agents Morris Marshall and Poole, was voted the best place in Wales to raise children in 2011.

The owners, Jean and Alan Mumbray, are looking to hand over the reins due to their impending retirement, after 15 successful years of running the Animalarium.

The perfect addition to any animal lover’s life, the zoo includes almost 400 animals of 120 different species in the sale of the property. Species include: lions, meerkats, parrots, a lynx, emus, leopards, snakes, peacocks, beavers, turtles and tortoises. Also included is all equipment, fixtures and fittings, the website, a cafeteria, visitor centre and gift shop, children’s play areas and a large car park.

Borth Animalarium, set in 4.9 hectares, began its life due to the Mumbrays’ hobby of collecting rare breeds, and they already had a host of the animals, such as the wallabies, monkeys and crocodiles, as pets.

After the expansion last year, the zoo now includes the additions of lion and emu enclosures. However, Jean says that there is even more room for growth due to the fact that the zoo only covers 8 of the 12 acres that come with the 2 bedroom bungalow, which also has permission to be extended to include 4 bedrooms.

Jean says: “The lion is probably the zoo’s most unusual attraction and was given to us because there are too many lions being born in captivity and not enough places for them.”

Yet, despite the amount of exotic animals with very big teeth present in the Animalarium, Jean says most dangerous animals are rats because they bite your fingers when you put your hands in their cage. Jean says the most hazardous animal “used to be a biting pony but she is retired now and does not have contact with visitors.”

The Mumbrays say that the new owners will not need to be professional zookeepers by a long shot, but to bear in mind that the zoo is not simply a business, but a lifestyle. Jean says: “The staff are invaluable. The zoo keepers will do the actual feeding and daily care, and the new owners will learn as they go. However, I would expect them to have at least some interest or experience and to research what running a zoo actually entails.”

A typical day in the life of Jean sees her completing administration work, ordering supplies and liaising with the zookeepers. Jean says that although it will be a challenge, last year the zoo attracted 27,000 visitors, and the number is increasing every year.

Jean says: “Life at a zoo is more routine than you’d expect but every now and then something unexpected will happen. Once we had to move the emus and they got frightened and started laying eggs, and on New Year’s Day one year we had surprise twin baby monkeys born.”

This really is a rare, exciting and worthwhile opportunity for the right buyer. Jean said she found that “The rewards are personal. I have always had joy from the animals I own, they are my greatest pleasure.”

Upon the sale of the property, the Mumbrays intend to move closer to family along with their beloved personal pets: their horses, dogs, cats, budgies – and monkeys.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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