I should probably give up my day job and become a giraffe photographer, right?
I love animals, it's no secret. Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with them. So it comes as no surprise that I love going to zoos. Some people don't agree with them, which is fair enough, I can see their point. But in a lot of cases it's become virtually impossible for some wild animals to actually survive in the wild for numerous reasons - deforestation, poachers and palm oil.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park is in Dalton-in-Furness in Cumbria, which is a bit of a drive for me, but I've visited 3 times in the past year and it's been totally worth it every single time. The park is pretty much famous for its lemurs. The lemurs, along with loads of other animals in the park are allowed to roam free. It's a fantastic close up experience that you're not very likely to find elsewhere. They also have different hand feedings during the day - lemurs, penguins and giraffes, and you can buy a bag of feed to hand feed the different birds and wallabies around the park.
The entry price to the park is £13.50 for an adult (although I'm sure when I visited in March it was £12), which is in my opinion quite cheap for what it offers. The different hand feedings are a pound each, and although it was free the first time I visited back in August I can justify this as the money goes towards the conservation work that they do. I can't comment on the price of the food inside the park, since I've taken food with me every time but I'm assuming it's your standard price for these places.
They have a fantastic selection of animals, which are hugely entertaining. When I visited the park yesterday, there were baboons putting hats on themselves, it was fascinating! Another highlight of South Lakes Wild Animal Park for me is the big cat feeding. They have lions, tigers and jaguars. Since they can't hunt live prey like they would in the wild, in order to try and replicate this they place their food up on the top of wooden poles, giving them their exercise too.They are extremely agile creatures, particularly the tigers, and it's most likely the case that if you blink, you'll miss it.
The park does extensive conservation work with the Sumatran Tiger Trust, and has had huge breeding success with a number of animals including the Sumatran tiger. There have recently been the births of a white rhino, reindeer, baboons and ring-tailed lemurs.
Like I mentioned before, most of the animals are free to roam around the park. These include a variety of different lemur species, spider monkeys, macaws, emus, peacocks, rabbits, swans, ducks, cotton topped tamarins, flamingos, kangaroos, prarie marmots and wallabies. If you do visit, though, please keep an eye on the small monkeys as they take an active interest in people and the items they carry, haha!
I already have some pictures from my previous visit in March on my Flickr account, and I'll be uploading the ones from my trip yesterday later on tonight, so check them out if you like!
Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and didn't have too bad a Monday!