And finally… A9 dualling contractor donates ‘bear’ necessities to local wildlife park

A9 Dualling - wildlife park - Walker the bear plays with traffic coneNot content with delivering a new dualled carriageway for A9 road users, Transport Scotland’s construction contractor has also been making ‘deliveries’ for the animals at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie.

Wills Bros John Paul JV, who are currently dualling the A9 between Kincraig and Dalraddy, has donated approximately 50 traffic cones and six short sections of drainage pipe to the park. Park residents immediately set to work to identify the best uses for their new equipment.

Walker, Arktos and Victoria – all polar bears at the Highland Wildlife Park – have had great fun frolicking about with the traffic cones; they enjoy throwing the cones up into the air and hiding things inside them. Musk ox are also enjoying being able to head-butt and roll the drainage pipes.

A9 Dualling - wildlife park 2The materials, which had already been used in the A9 construction project, would normally been disposed of once they were no longer required on the site; however, RZSS Highland Wildlife Park and the contractor have been working together since last year to use of any unwanted material in an innovative and environmentally-friendly way.

Excess greenery felled was also donated to the park to be used as animal feed.

The materials have also helped to decorate the animal enclosures for Christmas. Over the festive period, five tree stumps were given to the park for the musk ox, Japanese macaques, bison, Bactrian camels and yak to use within their enclosure, along with tree bark, pine needles and wood chips, which provided soft flooring for three new animal enclosures - including one housing the iconic Scottish wildcat.

Work to dual the stretch of the A9 between Kincraig and Dalraddy got underway in September last year, with rapid progress made in clearing the site and work is now underway on laying the new road on the southbound carriageway.

A9 Dualling - wildlife park 1Keith Brown, secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, has welcomed the construction company’s decision to put unwanted gear to new uses.

He said: “The contractor should be congratulated for exploring opportunities to dispose of this material in such an innovative way.”

The contractor is forging ahead now, with the progress becoming more and more visible to road users as work progresses towards completing the new dual carriageway.

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