Whipsnade Zoo

Red Panda 1I’ve been away for a couple of nights this week staying up in Hertfordshire.  I’ll reveal the highlight of my trip in another blog post soon, but on Thursday I visited Whipsnade Zoo with mum and dad.

On arriving at the zoo you get a choice to either park in their car park or take your car into the zoo.  Parking currently costs £4, which is slightly cheeky as the zoo entrance fee isn’t cheap, but I guess that maybe it encourages people to use public transport to get there.  If you do take your car in there are various car parks around the zoo, but if you don’t then there is a free bus that can take you around if you don’t fancy walking.  Personally, I didn’t feel either was necessary as apart from a small route in the park most is easily accessible.

Brown Bear 4The zoo is quite large and the animals generally seemed really well cared for and had large enclosures.  They had noticeably recently redone the area with the brown bears and wolverine.  It was really nice to get some good shots of the bears in natural looking surroundings, as you are on a walkway above the enclosure, so no nasty wire fences.  Sadly the wolverine was nowhere to be seen.

Cheetah 5Another area of the zoo I really liked was the cheetah rock.  There were two large enclosures for the cheetah, and a nice glass viewing area.  They had thought carefully about the area and set up an area where children could try timing their running speed to compare with the cheetah.  It would be nice if they can grow up some more natural surroundings around the outside of the enclosure though as it looked a little stark – although that maybe just because it was relatively new.

One area that could really benefit some work was the tiger enclosure.  It wasn’t small, but it didn’t feel like the best use of space, and the wooden shelter and walkway that had been built didn’t actually over look the tigers so seemed a little out of place.

Lions 1The other area where I felt they had slightly missed a trick was the lions – it is a nice large area, and there is a new looking glass fronted viewing area, but a lot of the enclosure was hidden as you were looking up at a hilled area.  So a second higher level on the viewing area so you could look down over the lions would be fantastic.

Overall it is a really nice zoo, and I’d visit again.  There are more photographs on my Flickr set.

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