Lions and Tigers – Oh My! [part 1]

Sunday the 7th April 2013, saw us take our Granddaughter and her friend to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which is 45 minutes or so away from us.  It was a Birthday treat for our Granddaughter. 

ywplogo142-3Copyright Yorkshire Wildlife Park 2013.

It’s a new park and this is the first time we have been. 

The park itself is occupies a 260 acre site,  though at present it only covers 70 aches.  But it’s growing.

846d46_e5f6c093ef3a2a01b4b63aaeb98661de.png_srz_497_741_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzCopyright Yorkshire Wildlife Park 2013.

Many of the animals there- in particular the big cats have been rescued by the park from  Eastern European Zoos, with the help and generosity of the public.

Lions cage

‘In August 2009, Oradea Zoological Garden, a small state zoo in Romania, sent out a call for help with their 3 prides of African lions, who were living in squalid conditions in cages 15 by 12 feet (4.6 by 3.7 m), with at least 5 lions in each cage. With the help of The News of the World, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park appealed to the public to raise £150,000 for transport costs and a 10-acre (4.0 ha) enclosure. In just 8 weeks, over £126,000 was donated, and by December 2009 the rescue mission was given the go-ahead by authorities in both countries.

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The original plan was to move all 13 lions by lorry, but Romania was suffering from one of the worst winters in history and it was realised that this would be dangerous. The Yorkshire based airline Jet2.com offered to fly the lions to the UK from Budapest airport, completely free.[11]loading lions

 

On February 11, 2010, at 12.16pm (GMT) the lions arrived at Robin Hood Airport on the Lion Express. By the end of the day the lions were in quarantine at the park, where they would spend the next 6 months undergoing a regime to help them gain weight and improve their health.

On Tuesday 25 May 2010, the Lions were released in their new enclosure, ‘Lion Country’.

Lion 7

(taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park%5D

 

The park aims to inspire and change people attitudes towards the natural environment and conservation – They work with British landscape as well as bringing more exotic animals to be seen by the public.  Unlike the old image of the Zoo- these animals have much more space and a relative freedom to move around.  if you compare where many have come from  – the space they have been given is  an enormous and for a while scary change.

While  we all want to see animals where they belong in the wild, for those where it is not an option, Yorkshire Wildlife is offering a life changing environment for them to see out the end of their days as well as working with conservation agencies.

So here are some of our images form the day- First  the Lions – there are 3 separate prides, who each live on their own island – The whole of Lion Country enclose measure approx 10-acre [4 hc].

Lion awake

Lion 9 Lion 8 Lion 6 Lion 5 Lion 4 Lion 3 Lion 2a Lion 2 Let Sleeping Lions Lie

 There wasn’t just Lions there of course

The Wildlife Park has also rescued  a couple of Tigers – Amur tigers to be precise, though more commonly known as Siberian Tigers

Yorkshire’s pair are called Vladimir and Sayan.

The Land of the Tigers was opened in 2011, the enclose has a wonderful waterfall and pool of water for tigers

Tigers waterfall

Siberian Tigers like the water!

Visitors view them while walking across a beautiful wooden bridge/walkway constructed for the best view.

Tigers

While we were there the Tigers were sleeping in a hollow.

Initially it was hard to see them both but as you walk around the the enclosure and with the help of a good telescopic lens we managed to make them out

tigers 1

tigers 2

And then a wonderful shot as they dreamed of – whatever Tigers dreamed off….

tigers 3

And on the other side of the Tiger enclosure – The park has created a new a wetland reserve.

wetland 1 wetland 2

wetland lake

Last year, in March 2012,  the park also finally opened it’s new enclose – Leopard Heights.   This cost £300,000, but is a fantastic open topped enclosure, that allows visitors to view view the Amur leopards from an 8-metre (26 ft) viewing tower and/ or from ground level through a 10-metre (33 ft) long glass wall.

lepoard 1 lepoard 4

The 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) enclosure is claimed to be the largest leopard enclosure in the world

lepoard 3 © Shullie H Porter 2013

And finally…

The leopard then  walked down

© Shullie H Porter 2013

Such power and grace ..

And then just like any domestic Tabby

sat at the gate, waiting for dinner….

lepoard 6

I love this as it shows such wonderful markings

Off course there are many more animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.. and I have more photos to show you…

But first  I need a cup of Tea and perhaps a slice of  cake 😉

DSCF3532

© Shullie H Porter 2013

About Keeper of the Keys

I'm a 50 plus [ how time flies] multifaceted, oxymoron, who can never really make her mind up. A Witch, a Follow of the Goddess, a Medium, ( I'll talk to anyone dead or alive), a 'wanna be' Writer, a disorganised Blogger, Cake Baker, Jam Maker, Trainee Patchwork-er and Keeper of the Keys for The Under Gardener's Lodge. Mother Grandmother and Wife. I'm fascinated and excited by many things, and therefore could be called eclectic or even eccentric, though some have not been that polite. I live in this Beautiful Magical Lodge with my husband Lou, our rather large dog, Shea and a few other previous residents, who come and go. And like many women of a certain age - I like purple [ and some how pink!] rather a lot!
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