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Ideas for zoo visit in 2015

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by wildlife11, 7 Jan 2015.

  1. wildlife11

    wildlife11 New Member

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    Location:
    uk
    Hi, I've just registered this account, as I have been wondering for a while which zoo to visit in 2015 and would like some opinion/advice. I have previously been to Flamingo Land zoo and Knowsley safari park, more recently though, Blackpool Zoo and Chester Zoo. I want to visit a zoo reasonably close to Leeds, where I am based, and am willing to travel up to 2.5 hours in a car. I am currently looking at Yorkshire Wildlife park, South lakes safari zoo, re-visiting chester zoo for the opening of islands or perhaps twycross zoo. My preferences are zoos with activites e.g. train rides, playground areas and indoor exhibits. However, in terms of wildlife, I would love to see a wide range of big cats, and larger mammals. The hyena, leopard, pygmy/common hippo and any bear species are currently on my bucket list for 2015. Do you have any comments on any of the zoo's i've mentioned, opinions from own experiences or general advice? Also, I do take a lot of photographs for my instagram account, is there any particular zoo which is better for photography? Finally, I would like a zoo with large, well-built and modern enclosures, preferably not open fields with huge amounts of animals roaming. I would appreciate any feedback, thanks.
     
  2. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    There is no zoo which will meet ALL your requirements!
    Colchester is the only one that has all the species, but it's too far away for you.
    Whipsnade is probably not so far, but no leopard or hyena sadly. Also a large number of open fields.
    Never been to YWP(on my list for this year) but no hippo or hyena, distance wise it's an obvious choice for you though and is highly recommended. England's only Polar Bear is a good enough reason.
     
  3. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    Twycross has Striped Hyena and Amur Leopard. But with that list of wants, personally I'd advise making a weekend and fitting in Whipsnade, fields or not; it has both Brown and Sloth Bears, and it is the only place in the UK to show both Common and Pigmy Hippo.

    Unless you're very hardy, I'd put the trip off for about three months, though!
     
  4. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Chester - UK
    South Lakes (which you mention) has reduced its normal entry prices to free* with a donation until sometime in February.. So if you want to go there then now is probably the time to do it.

    It isn't worth visiting South Lakes the rest of the year ;) (read some of the threads on here to see why I say that)
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2015
  5. Big Rob

    Big Rob Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Gainsborough,Lincs,UK
    Well if you are after recommendations for a photography zoo with Big cats then I cant look any further than Y.W.P.
    The amur tigers have 2 huge enclosures ,both with water features that they interact with regularly.1 is possible to photograph through wire fence with reasonable results,whilst the other has totally un-interrupted views of a waterfall and pool at top and bottom.
    Their Amur leopard enclosure again is huge and offers un-interrupted photography opportunities from a viewing platform level with the highest platforms on the not so pretty climbing frame.
    The Polar bear is obviously a massive draw for people,with the majority of the enclosure not obscured by fencing. Get there early for Victor though,as he tends to be active first thing as in feeding at opening time,then usually going for an hours swim followed by a 3 hour nap.;)
    3 separate prides of lions in 3 different enclosures,2 of them offering great photo opportunities if you are patient and wait for activity between pride members. at the end of the opening times is a good time to be there as the 3 prides usually enter into a bit of a "roar off".
    If you aren't planning on attending soon then the new African painted/hunting dogs will be allowed into the better half of the new enclosure as soon as the grass has become established,again most of the enclosure offers clear photos with no fence in shot.
    I'm also confident that the Tigers will successfully raise cubs this spring,but will be kept in a small nursery section of enclosure with no water feature .Unfortunately that will mean views/photos will be through mesh fence for a while until they are allowed into the big runs.
    The giraffes are always a challenge to photograph,and are nearly always silhouetted against the sun or the annoying water treatment works machinery.
    There are also walk through Lemur, Wallaby and South American enclosures.
    Its also only an hour from Leeds.
    As far as Twycross is concerned, the Amur leopard enclosure looks horrid with only glass to view through,Striped Hyena is bit better but again only offering views through glass. The snow leopard is the best enclosure there in my opinion,but the best views are offered through a big window in the coffee house before or after entering the zoo,not actually in it.:eek: The Elephants are great though,and in a really good and large exhibit.
    I have mixed feelings about South lakes,and haven't been since they relocated a lot of the big cats,so cant really offer an opinion on those. But the snow leopard exhibit is quite good with the pole feeding being the highlight.
    Blackpool zoo is a nice place,and could be incorporated into a weekend away to include either South lakes or Chester zoo. Not great for photos though as nearly everything is through glass or mesh fences.
    Sorry for waffling,check out my photos if you want to have a look at what I achieve from the 4 zoos I have mentioned.:)
     
  6. wildlife11

    wildlife11 New Member

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    Location:
    uk
    Thank you so much for the responses. I agree, I will never be able to find a zoo that fits all my criteria, but re-considering, I think that Whipsnade or Yorkshire wildlife park are the best-suited.