A wildlife centre in Cornwall is mourning the loss of Lowen the reindeer who has died aged 11, following an illness.

Lowen and his brother Nadelik made their home at Feadon Wildlife Centre in Portreath, part of the Landal Gwel an Mor resort, when they were just five months old back in 2009 and have been much-loved residents ever since.

The star of many a magazine front cover over the years, the handsome reindeer brothers were a delight for all visitors to Feadon Wildlife Centre, year round, with guests, schools and community groups learning about the reindeer, their lives and unique personalities on guided visits.

Seeing the reindeer has also been a delight and welcome distraction to the NHS staff who have been staying at the resort during lockdowns.

However, the most magical memories were made at Christmas time with the reindeer who were an integral part of the resort’s festivities and meet Santa experiences.

Gary Zammit, manager and head ranger at Feadon Wildlife Centre, the reindeer’s main carer and handler said: “For me personally, I am heartbroken. I picked him and his brother Nadelik up at just a couple of months old and I’ve had the pleasure of his company for the last 11 years. I even slept in the stable with them both one night as I didn’t want them to be left alone”

The reindeer were born in Staffordshire and came to live in Portreath as a pair at five months old, which meant they were acclimatised to the UK as opposed to imported reindeer from Scandinavian countries who can sometimes show distress.

As captive bred reindeer, Lowen and Nadelik's calm nature was often commented on, showing their friendliness and ease of being with people, who they interacted with every day.

Lowen arived at Feadon Wildlife Centre in 2009.

Lowen arived at Feadon Wildlife Centre in 2009

Mr Zammit added: “I have too many memories but I will always fondly remember our many Christmas visits to Trelissick Gardens. Lowen and Nadelik would lay down in the straw and enjoy a nap blissfully unaware of all the excited parents and children.

“And it’s not just me - I’m sure Lowen left a lasting impression on many people. His relaxed nature and impeccable behaviour here at the centre and at the many places we visited over the years made him a sweetheart to many.

"One time we visited a care home where he insisted on going up to the windows and looking in at everyone - at one point he even popped his head in a window much to the delight of the residents.

“While it is a sad time for everyone at the centre, we are remembering what a wonderful life he enjoyed right into his old age and how lucky we have been to have had Lowen as part of our Feadon family for so many years."

The team at Feadon Wildlife Centre is currently looking into finding company for Nadelik who has never been separated from his brother before.

Lowen’s ashes will be scattered in a special memorial wildlife area to be created at the centre.