Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Cat and me drove yesterday to South Yorkshire to a place called Branton. A few miles from Doncaster to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. We were worried we could not see any signs for it until we were nearly there. As we got into the car park (through a livery yard) I saw this sign. The Lions i mentioned yesterday have been rescued from Romania, and brought here to rehabilitate and get veterinarian treatment. They have been nicknamed "The Pride Of Yorkshire".

We spent a few hours walking around the Wildlife Park. It has been open since April 2009. They have a small collection of mostly endangered animals in natural looking enclosures without the thick bars most associated with Zoos of the past. This baby goat (Kid) was only days old and still teetering around the enclosure like a man in high heel shoes.

This is beautiful Red River Hog who with his companion was snuffling their way around the deciduous woodland where they were based. They have a strangely beautiful face and had even managed to get into the gift shop as a plush toy (think Pumba from the Lion King). The woodlands were alive with the singing of birds and flying from tree to tree. It was very peaceful looking at the two Red River Hogs.

The Wallabys and the Lemurs both had enclosures that you could walk through. They were not bothered by the silent visitors walking around their home. This female Wallaby had a leg protruding from her pouch. Suddenly this little Joey stuck his nose out to see what was going on. I spent a year in Australia and never saw a Wallaby with a baby Joey. There was hand gel outside the enclosure to clean your hands afterwards.

This cute Brown Lemur was sat on the keepers hut watching the Black And White Ruffed Lemur getting some grapes. He intently watches whats going on, and you can see him thinking "wheres mine?". The Lemurs slept, groomed, and were playing in their purpose built home. Ropes and nets ran between the Trees to keep them active. Their own natural habitat in Madagascar is being destroyed slowly so they are endangered. They are magnificent animals, and its good that they are being looked after here.

My favourite Lemurs are these Ring Tailed ones. One has just bent down, and the other one is off galloping away. They look so serene sat like stripey tailed Buddhas on their hind legs sunning themselves. They also had the habit of wrapping their tails around their necks like university students with scarves.

Near the main entrance was the MeerKat enclosure. These little animals are hugely popular here with TV series, television advertisements, and even feature films. They have cute faces, and are highly social. The Female gave birth to three pups on the fifth of March. They were running all over yesterday, digging away and looking at us. You can just spend hours watching their natural behaviour.

The park is divided up into named areas like Wallaby Walkabout, Lemur Woods, World Farm, African Plains, Painted Dogs, etc.
The different types of Cattle, Goats, Sheep, Llamas, and Donkeys in the World Farm are all animals that have been domesticated and used in farming. This big Cow was giving the smaller Cow a wash as they were relaxing.

The Geese from the pond walked carefully around the Llamas. The endangered Painted Dogs can be seen behind the fence patrolling their enclosure.

An interested Painted Hunting Dog peers through the fence. We were stood upwind from him so he could smell us. These beautifully coloured animals have been persecuted in their own homeland from poaching and roadkill amongst other things. They have the look of Hyenas, and are highly social animals. These dogs were from Knowsley Safari Park and were part of an endangered species captive breeding program.

This beautiful Maccaw was laughing and vocalising in an area closed off from the Public. He is called George. He wanted to see what was going on away from his house so climbed up the wire fence for a good look. I think it was where the birds are housed when they are not being displayed to the kids and visitors. He moved his head from side to side looking for a good view through the branches. I did the same with my Camera trying to see him and not the tree. He was the most colourful occupant that we saw.

This Donkey came to see Cat and got his nose stroked. They were beautiful and quite passive. They have good memories so when we go back they should remember us.
I enjoyed our trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It is much smaller than other places like London Zoo, but it shows visitors and children wildlife close up. The only wildlife that we did not see was the African Plains display. The animals decided to walk as far away from the viewing area as possible. Also there is a huge amount of work going to build the new lions enclosures. Once all that work is done it should be much better.
The Lions are apparently doing much better now. Their health is improving with their new Lion diet and warmed enclosures. I did not hear them roaring yesterday. Me and Cat tried to guess where they were being quarantined on the site.
The Pride of Yorkshire have landed on their feet by being rescued by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. They do lavish due care and attention on their animals. I hope that the revenue the Lions generate can help finish the Wildlife Park off to a high standard. The national media has been following the story since it began.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Parks website is:


Red Robin said...

l watched the film about the lions, with one lion making a loud but deep roar. They looked pleased to be in yorkshire with their bigger cages. I see they are raising money as well to help with their enclosures. Amazing

Georgina said...

Hey Bruv! The wildlife park looks fabulous. As do the Meerkats. Andy fancy that, a Macaw called George! Did you get my email - the long newsy one sent on your Friday evening? Love Sis x