Client Overview

Watatunga Wildlife Reserve is an award-winning wildlife reserve offering a unique opportunity to experience a safari in Norfolk. 

Dedicated to the conservation of endangered deer, antelope and birds, Watatunga Wildlife Reserve allows visitors to learn about the animals and stunning scenery from their own electric buggy, which they drive on guided tours.


The animals roam free in the reserve without restrictive cages and pens – meaning that they choose when to be seen and when to hide up with their young.  We can’t guarantee what you’ll see each time, but you can be sure that whatever does make an appearance is in the most natural element that can be created for it, grazing on the rich grasslands, drinking at the lakeside or even concealing themselves amidst the ferns and the woodland floor. The park has been open since August 2020 for the full visitor experience, and has been running breeding programmes for endangered animals for 9 years.


Client Objectives

Edward Pope, Watatunga’s founder, wanted to be able to understand more about his animals’ behaviours, movements, to monitor their location and also on a practical level use trackers to operate his fleet of electric safari buggies more efficiently. After carrying out some initial online research, Edward dismissed many of the off the shelf tracking solutions; they just weren’t quite flexible enough to give him the varied alerts and reporting he was after. Re-wilding devices were available, but only programmable at manufacturer level which meant lack of control. Also common was a sealed battery unit – not great for maintenance.

Key requirements:

  • Battery powered trackers for the animals (with replaceable batteries)
  • Fully waterproof (some of the animals swim!!
  • Electric buggy trackers (suitable for trailers without a power supply)
  • One management platform for all trackers
  • Flexibility to swap out trackers frequently and change alert settings
  • Varied GPS location reports

Our Solution

Foresolutions has been able to provide a range of trackers with full customisable reporting and alert settings to meet all of Edward’s requirements. These were then set up on our Foretrack Connect cloud based management platform where Edward can log on and customise the settings to suit his changing needs and reflect the focus of his studies and research.

Tracking The Animals & Successful Outcomes

We selected Oyster & Yabby battery powered trackers for the animals. These are small enough not to bother them and are fully waterproof.

Edward was able to use the tracker data to determine the following:

  • Where the animals were spending their time. An initial GPS report was configured to send location data every 5 minutes, then extended timeframe of 30 movements.
  • A geofence was set up around the shed to send an alert when an animal had entered the area to aid capture when the animals need to be rounded up.
  • The data showed clear sub species differentiation to aid Edwards’s understanding of the feeding and behavioural patterns. Findings also evidenced a clear difference for animals that came to the park from a zoo as opposed to coming from an open environment, showing that the time spent stationary for those used to a zoo was so much more than the open environment animals.
  • Animals born within the park were identified to have different feeding behaviours – and therefore better gut development. Using the trackers to monitor time spent in feeding zones aided this particular insight.
  • Edward also had a student working in the park recently, undertaking a study of the Samba deer for her dissertation. The tracking data revealed that the two sub species displayed very different behaviours and was able to provide valuable evidence to back up her research.


The Safari buggies

Self-install GPS trackers were provided for all of Edward’s electric safari buggies.

  • Easy install on site with no need for engineers.
  • Geofences set so that alerts can be triggered if they end up outside expected areas, therefore indicating either a safety concern or security risk.
  • Live location tracking to help Edward manage park tours and make sure buggies are available at the right times.

“I’ve been really impressed with the outcome of the tracking implementation from Foresolutions. I was beginning to think I may not find something that met all my requirements, so the combination of the customisable management platform, replaceable battery trackers and ease of install was a welcome relief. The support from Simon and the Foresolutions team have enabled me to get so much more insight into the behaviours of the park animals and also help operate the tours much more efficiently with the buggy trackers. I look forward to continuing the studies indefinitely.”

Edward Pope, Founder & Owner of Watatunga Wildlife Reserve

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