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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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’.
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].
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
Siberian Tigers like the water!
Visitors view them while walking across a beautiful wooden bridge/walkway constructed for the best view.
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
And then a wonderful shot as they dreamed of – whatever Tigers dreamed off….
And on the other side of the Tiger enclosure – The park has created a new a wetland reserve.
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.
The 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) enclosure is claimed to be the largest leopard enclosure in the world
The leopard then walked down
Such power and grace ..
And then just like any domestic Tabby
sat at the gate, waiting for dinner….
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 😉
© Shullie H Porter 2013