Join our zoo community

Knowsley Safari Park Knowsley Safari Park 2018

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Zooreviewsuk, 19 Jan 2018.

  1. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 May 2017
    Posts:
    368
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Well I've always been very negative about Knowsley and have always found it the worse of the Safari Parks in the UK, so today I ventured the short journey to see what progress or lack of progress there had been going into 2018, since my last visit 4 months ago.

    Having normally been £16.50 per adult entry, until February 10th entry is only £15.00 per car, so if you have any desire to visit it is quite cheap at present.

    The biggest change at the Safari park is the massive new Tiger exhibit being built next to the car park to the left of the Safari drive entrance. I got a few photo's of what I could and will upload them tomorrow. You start by seeing a big Amur sign, prior to a waterfall feature which runs through the exhibit and the walkway into it. The large high fencing, has around 5/6 viewing windows. They have raised areas, dens, water features and rock and overgrowth features and at this early stage it looks very impressive and is by far the biggest Tiger I have seen. Looking at it, it's set up a lot like Highland Wildlife Parks exhibit but about 3 times the size. It would be nice for once to actually be able to see the Tigers, something which the safari drive has eluded for many visits.

    They are also doing some work on the old Elephant paddock, which will give access to a grass paddock for Giraffes and also bringing in Blesbok as well. They currently out on the Safari drive, with the Bongo's and other antelope, but bringing them to the Foot Safari, see's the Park moving it's 3rd animal now to the foot safari, with only one new animal on the Drive.

    The Wolves exhibit is now completely finished with viewing on the front and also in the Woodland Trail. Sadly the Wolves exhibit is very wide open, with no real wooded section to it. The Wolves (2 older wolves) spend most of the time running around and always look a bit stressed, it's good viewing but I don't personally feel it is a good exhibit for the animal. It needs a lot more tree's and hideouts for the Wolves. A couple of Den's and about 3 tree's in the whole exhibit is not good for a woodland animal.

    The Sea Lion show remains unchanged and I really hope soon the Sea Lion's get an improved exhibit, the outside section for 4 Sea Lion's is too small, so whilst they have access to a big pool when shows are on, when they are kept outside the exhibit really isn't big enough.

    Continuing my little whinge, all the fencing in the Woodland Walk has now been removed with just the poles in the ground. This is disappointing. It was a good exhibit when the Elk were there and it could have been used for something like Lynx / Wolverine / Bears if they wanted to continue the Woodland theme, so sadly it will now just stay an empty area with a side view for the Wolves.

    The Bush Dogs weren't out today and their outside access was blocked off. Also the indoor viewing of them was fenced off. I'm not sure why, so could only guess maybe they are expecting babies? or they are under Vet treatment.

    The River Hogs seem happy in their new exhibit, and the Tapir and Sitatunga were on the graveled section of their exhibit, with the land by the train (currently closed) flooded somewhat.

    The old River Hog exhibit remains empty advising you, that you can see them by the Giraffe's now.

    The one plus for the park is the catering, the food is very good and not too expensive, the new Deli, does freshly made sandwiches (you can chose what you want), and they have 5 choices of bread. They also have a hot Carvery meat option and homemade soup. I know this isn't really what most Zoo Chatters look for, but it does make a change from package sandwiches which are days old, Pizza, Burger or Hot Dog options which is all most zoo's seem to offer nowadays. The fast food menu also now includes chicken dishes, pasta dishes, and my fav Chilli with either Rice or Chips. Was nice to see them also serving Jacket Potato's with a few options for fillings.

    Having exhausted the foot Safari in 30 minutes (having spent 15 of those minutes trying to get photos of the new tiger exhibit without being asked to move) I decided to go back to the car and on to the Safari Drive.

    Now given Knowsley is way bigger than any of the other Safari Drives in the Uk, it's also been disappointing the lack of lets say..... Animal's.

    Today was no different ....

    If you want to see lots of Deer and Antelope, Knowsley ticks the boxes but it could offer so much more.

    As always this time of year, the Rhino's were inside where you can't view them with no access to the paddocks, and asside from the mass collection of deer there wasn't a lot to see.

    The Zebra were confined to their house (you could see them in the distance) so no viewing of them, and for 2 paddocks (Where Rhino and Zebra should be) all you got to see was 2 Ostritch.

    The Baboons have always been the highlight here, as they are very active unlike Blair Drummond where the monkey's don't even jump on the cars or anything.

    The young camels were growing up fast and one decided to stick it's head through my passenger window to say hi.

    Where the Wolves used to be (A nice overgrown exhibit, suitable for Wolves) they have cut all the grass, so it's now like a paddock and it has Vicuna (Not listed on website yet, so may be new arrivals?) and Capybara in there. This seems odd to have them right by the Lions and Tigers and seems a bit out of place, and not really a good attraction by the carnivores. Again this exhibit could have been used for something so much better (Cheatah, Puma, Jackal, Hyena).

    The Lion's one male and 5 females were out and active and playing. Some got up close to my car so I got a couple of nice pictures. It was annoying that having been there 10 minutes, the keepers were then calling them into the fenced off area by chucking meat in there, as it was starting to rain so they were removing them from the drive through section, most disappointing.

    The Tigers I did not see.

    The big paddock prior to the Lions contains Bison and an Elk. They used to mingle together but now the Elk prefers the wooded section,whilst the Bison are on the plain. There are 7 Bison by the looks and just the one Elk, the female from the pair, after the male died in 2016. She always looks lonely to me, but there are no plans to get another Male, and the female may be moved on in due course I was told, which would be a shame as it would be yet another of Knowsley's more exciting animals to depart and disappear off the Safari Drive.

    Finally as you leave you get to see the Somali Ass and Eastern Kiang and they (The Kiang) looked to have a couple of young with them.

    Unfortunately I failed to see any Wildebeast or Forest Buffalo so I am unsure if they were just moved offshow for winter, or they have left the collection.

    For me for all the space Knowsley has, the fact it's Safari Drive nowadays feels just like a collection of Deer and Antelope and other Ungulates is most disappointing. When the Tigers move to the foot Safari, it will only be Lions as main attractions on the drive and it's said they will be using the old Tiger exhibit to spread the 20 lions out across more, I personally find this disappointing rather than adding a new species of something.

    I don't think I'll be going again until the Tiger and Besbok exhibit are finished, but I do hope they spend some time bringing in new animals for the Safari Drive as it's starting to get boring and they badly need some new attractions.

    The other nightmare was about the 200 potholes everywhere on the Safari Drive, given they only open 5 days a week at present, they should make sorting them a priority, you find yourself zig zag driving not to wreck your tyres, something you wont get a luxury to do when it's busy in the summer, so I do hope, they resurface the roads or fill the many potholes in soon !

    It's still the worse Safari Park in the UK in my opinion.

    Photo's of new Tiger exhibit and other things will be posted in gallery tomorrow.
     
  2. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    375
    Location:
    Wirral
    Always felt like Knowsley could benefit from introducing bears to the safari drive, but after a recent visit I felt they were completely lacking in carnivores. I don't whether this is a licensing issue, I have a bit of experience with zoo licensing and enclosure design to prevent animal escape or visitor entry but don't really know or understand how this works in a safari park, where there only thing prevent this is the visitors car, of which the visitor is in control of, maybe why they are expanding on the foot safari more and more and dedicating the safari drive to hoofstock.
     
  3. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    According to FB Vicuna are a new addition although I don`t know when they arrived.
     
  4. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    in response to my own comment, there is A new Vicuna called Napoleon so they may not be a complete new species, my apologies, i`ve obviously misread that. I don`t know how long Vicuna have been there in total.
     
  5. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    It would be a shame to lose the Elk but if there are no plans to bring in a new male then it seems only the right thing to move her on.
     
  6. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 May 2017
    Posts:
    368
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Sorry I didn't get round to posting these before, but here are a couple of the images of the new tiger exhibit on the foot safari.

    You walk in opposite the fairground, by the big AMUR sign, or you can access from the side of the car park over a path which goes over the water feature which exits the Tiger Exhibit and the pond which is down by the bottom window viewpoint.

    There are around 8 glass viewing parts all the way around, and there are climbing sections inside being built.

    The exhibit is huge and runs all the way from the fairground road, all the way over the Safari entrance and I would suggest it is about the size of the Woodland Trail if trying to get an idea of the size of it.

    The images don't show a lot but what I could see on foot, was quite impressive.

     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  7. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    Visited here today and it's brilliant if your favourite species are deer & antelope. Although for £15 a car & take a picnic great cheap day out.
    As Zooreviewsuk has stated, main issue here is lack of different animals considering Knowsley's size.
    *One White Rhino stuck her head out of the doorway but the rest obviously much preferred the comfort of indoors(I don't blame them)
    *Camels were huddled under the shelter and Gary has grown up massively.
    *Eastern Kiang are much bigger than I was expecting but nice species to see.
    *No Buffalo were on show which I had been looking forward to seeing but just means will have to visit again.
    *Thank goodness I read the post about the potholes (thanks Zooreviewsuk for highlighting, at least my dad had prior warning) these are the most important development needed ASAP. Horrendous doesn't even cover it. Managed to avoid the potholes while it's reasonably quiet but it must be a nightmare when it's busy as it will be in a few weeks over Feb half term.
    *Got some nice shots of the lions
    * Nice to see the Vicuna and saw the Bush dogs for the first time. Got some nice pics.
    * Sea lion show seems to have changed and there is now 4 so possibly a new addition has joined ? Good show which isn't just full of tricks but also very informative information highlighting difference between seals & sealions.
    * Elephant enclosure is fenced off with signs saying it's under development.
    * Giraffe talk was little bit basic but highlight was parent telling children about the "mother & her baby" & then cutting across the keeper when she corrected them. Hey ho what do keepers know .
    * Bongo were off show again possibly the weather.

    Sorry it's not a great review but fingers crossed that within the next few years Knowsley can return to being one of the best days out.
     
  8. Quincey

    Quincey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    363
    Location:
    Scotland
    1.0 White Rhino has been born within the last week.
     
  9. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    According to the newsletter the old tiger enclosure is going to be added to existing lion enclosure. Personally i think this is a waste and this could be used to house another big cat or carnivore species (Hyenas would be amazing although i could be wishful thinking here). I really hope Knowsley get some new species in soon as they seem to be lacking especially on the drive through which is a shame.
     
    Loxodonta Cobra likes this.
  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    17,224
    Location:
    england
    Knowlsey seem to have a good range of ungulate species in the various reserves, including a wide range of Asian Deer and Antelope, and now the only herd of Kiang anywhere in the UK, but the drive- through Carnivore section, which is what most visitors want the most, seems the poorest of the various Safari Parks- I saw just one small group of Lionesses in the drive-through area,, and a few males in a seperate'drive-past' section- nothing else. Spanish wolves were there too( I know they have moved now) but as usual, invisible, so a waste of an enclosure really. Maybe Cheetah would be a good addition?
     
  11. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    Definitely agree with the range of deer and antelope (Pere David are my favourite) and it's interesting to know about the only herd of Kiang in the UK hopefully these won't leave. Cheetah definitely are a a great opportunity if that became available and Serval might be a nice replacement otherwise. I wonder if it ever became possible to house all the big 5 here plenty of space although adaptations would be required= £
     
  12. Tau

    Tau Active Member

    Joined:
    26 Oct 2015
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Currently Knowsley has 12 lions in two prides. The first pride in the drive through holds 2 males (1 castrate without a mane) and 4 girls.

    The second pride in the drive past area also holds 2 males and 4 females, these two males are both maned and are apparently according to their website called Scooter and Mojo. I believe the girls were moved last year from the main pride due to infighting. 12 lions is still a lot to look after I guess and I love that the second pride have now got more space since the tiger move. All three of the males are particularly impressive here, I love taking photos of them!

    I hope Knowsley will continue to improve the enclosures for its existing animals before major new species are brought in. It's great to see the current species take priority. Whilst being sneaky you can view a bit of the new 'Tiger Trail' through the building work and it looks to be huge!! Can't wait to see it open.
     
  13. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    There's only 12 lions now ? Anyone know what has happened to them ? Last death was Kenya in 2015. Still quite a large pride although at least their numbers won't increase. I'm looking forward to seeing Knowsley improve and hopefully become one of the best in Britain
     
  14. Tau

    Tau Active Member

    Joined:
    26 Oct 2015
    Posts:
    30
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I believe all have passed away over the time. The last cubs were born in 2012 and the guidebook says they are now a non breeding pride as their genes are well represented.

    I have noticed many places breeding lions more sensibly since the Longleat incident in 2014.
     
  15. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    Jasmine's daughter Sapphire born 2012 appears to be missing off their website "how to form a lion pride" so possibly she has passed away ?
     
  16. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    According to the Knowsley blog Rigsby the hybrid giraffe passed away in March due to ongoing dental issues aged 16yrs. This leaves 2:0 Rothschild
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  17. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    7,789
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    A sad note on the passing of an iconic giraffe well loved in the local community.

    On the other: Knowsley will now have its scope wide open to changing over to Rothschild's fully and using the conservation outreach storyline to support in situ work. I would think they may now well add more giraffe to the bachelor herd.
     
    Embu likes this.
  18. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    I agree although this may not happen until Alexander and Orbit have moved and settled into their new home in the old elephant enclosure (if this hasn`t happened already). There is generally enough of Rothschild bulls in need of being re-homed. For example; there are at least 2 bulls from Chester. There should be plenty of room to increase their herd size in the old elephant enclosure.

    As you say Rigsby was an iconic Knowsley animal who will be missed.
     
  19. JoeDK14

    JoeDK14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    205
    Location:
    Warrington
    The Giraffe are still in their original house. The tigers have now moved to the foot safari but won’t be on show until the half term coming up. This now means that Scooter and Mojos pride now have access between the three carnivore enclosures. Meaning that the pride with the castrated male and the other male who’s names I can’t remember are in the drive through.
    There are also around ten new capybara in the old Iberian wolf enclosure, Which to me is waisted because it’s perfect for carnivores like cheetah.
     
  20. Embu

    Embu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    163
    Location:
    Prestatyn North Wales United Kingdom
    Castrated male called Ted, lion with mane called Sam