Ranua Wildlife Park was established in 1983. Today, the park is home to around 200 animals that represent 50 arctic species. The animals are housed in spacious enclosures right in the middle of a Nordic forest. It takes a lot of hard work from an average of five members of staff to look after the animals and maintain their enclosures. This work is made easier by a Valtra N114 Hitech tractor and a KESLA 204T loader.
Located in Northern Finland, Ranua Wildlife Park is spread over an area of 40 hectares. This land is home to all of the wildlife park’s 200 animals, which represent 50 different species. In addition to offering visitors unique encounters with wild animals, the wildlife park also carries out important work in protecting threatened animals and improving awareness of the various species it houses. In doing this work, it is essential that the wildlife park provides the animals with the best possible living conditions. These are maintained by both the animal keepers and the park’s maintenance team. In carrying out their work, the maintenance team uses a 2018 model Valtra N114 Hitech tractor and a rear-mounted KESLA 204T loader. The crane in particular is put to work in many ways at the park.
Suitable for a wide range of tasks
The crane is an everyday tool at the wildlife park. During the summer months, lots of twigs and branches need to be cleared as a result of the work done to prevent the enclosures becoming overgrown. More twigs and branches are produced when the various deer species eat the leaves from the feed bundles they’re provided with. These leftovers also need to be collected. The twigs and branches produced by the maintenance work and feed bundles are collected using a loader before being delivered to a local heating plant.
- “There are a lot of twigs. We go through up to 7,000 feed bundles every summer”, explain Tero Ikonen and Seppo Hiltula from the park’s maintenance team.
The crane is equipped with a grapple, making it suitable for handling smaller materials, too. The volume of the KESLA proG20 grapple’s gravel bucket is 150 l.
Tero and Seppo are happy to report that replacing the sand from the animals’ feeding areas is really straightforward with the crane grapple. The same goes for changing the ground sand and soil in the animal enclosures, too.
In addition to the ground materials, waste such as stray, hay, and manure is also produced in the enclosures. In fact, a couple of cartloads of these materials is produced in a week. The loader is used to collect them and take them for compost. After a couple of years, the composted material will be ready for use as mulch.
Thanks to its almost 7-metre reach, the crane is also really handy for reaching inside the animal enclosures without having to enter them. The tractor is usually used when entering the higher enclosures.
As part of their enrichment, rocks, tree stumps, and various wooden structures are brought into the enclosures for the animals. The loader is a useful piece of kit when working with and transporting these loads.
KESLA has ramped up the power
The park’s new tractor has been driven for a total of 1,400 hours and the crane has been used for 700 hours. The maintenance team previously used a Valmet 6400 tractor and a Kronos 365 loader. Both Tero and Seppo are very happy with the change.
- “The upgrade gives us an extra half a meter of reach with the crane and the lifting capacity is much more”, say the men.
The crane features the electronic Walvoil DPX control valve. The electronic controls are easy to use. There have been up to seven people using the equipment.