On my return from Australia, my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I am rather ashamed to say I didn’t know this place existed. Now counting North Yorkshire as my home, I rarely venture to the East, West and South corners (*hangs head in shame*).
So a couple of Saturdays ago, we waited until the rain stopped and then got in the car and headed for Donny AKA Doncaster. It was a fairly okay drive but it is probably best to avoid driving straight through the town centre (stupid sat nav). Anyway, we got there, parked up and headed in.
It was very busy for 3 reasons: 1) It was a Saturday 2) There had been a Groupon deal for this particular weekend 3) There was an Alice in Wonderland theme. (My boyfriend loves the Disney version of that film so here we were). There were characters on stilts, a tea party and you could play croquet with the Queen of Hearts.
The park is big and there are loads of animals from meerkats to wallabies and lemurs to tigers. My personal favourite was the wallabies. My first sighting of these creatures was in Australia but here I was actually allowed to stroke them while there were having lunch. Also the majority had young in their pouches, peeking their little heads out for a nosy. Absolutely adorbs!
There were also polar bears who were huge and there was helpful information by their pen to answer everyone’s question “Don’t they need to live in the snow?”, the baboons were a joy to watch and watch you could literally for hours as these little monkeys were wonderfully mischievous and there were also zebras, giraffes, ostriches and painted dogs. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the leopards as they were in hiding.
I also absolutely loved seeing the tigers. These majestic cats were a wonder to behold and crowds huddled together for sightings. However, one of the male cats was constantly pacing back and forth, which made me wonder how “caged” he actually feels. This led me to ponder how I feel feel about zoos. I mean these tigers are in captivity for their safety from poachers but captivity can give them shorter life spans and it is not natural for food to be handed to them. You can watch Horizon’s documentary ‘Should we close our zoo?’ programme, which delves much deeper into this subject.
The only way to change this is to stop the threats to their lives in the wild. But I can’t see how that can be done. At least not fast enough to give them a chance to up their numbers. Personally, I sponsor a stunning tiger called Kamanrita and a snow leopard who I’ve named Jon Snow (obviously) through the WWF. It’s not much but hopefully it can create a little change.