A walk on the wild side

Situated in the extensive acreage owned by the Armathwaite Hall Hotel close to the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake the Lake District Wildlife Park is only a relatively short drive along the country lanes from the camp site so on Day 5 of my holiday I decided to go along and take a look. As wildlife parks go it’s not a big place compared to many – about 24 acres in total – but most of the enclosures and paddocks were large with wide and well laid out paths making it easy to walk round and see everything.
The meerkats were closest to the entrance so I started with those, gave the next door reptile house a miss, then wandered along various paths round the enclosures. Some of the animals weren’t easy to see or photograph as they were hiding among the various trees and vegetation in their enclosures, and try as I might I just couldn’t see the red panda which was supposedly curled up asleep on a branch. I got shots of most of the ones which interested me and which stayed still long enough, and seeing the zebras reminded me of holidays spent in South Africa – the people I stayed with referred to them as donkeys in pyjamas, something which always makes me smile.
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Yellow mongooses – native to South African countries
Kookaburra – native to Australia and New Guinea
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A distant shot of alpacas
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Grant’s zebras – native to Eastern and Southern Africa
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Dwarf zebu – a breed of domestic cattle native to India
Ring tailed lemur – native to South Madagascar
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Black and white ruffed lemur – native to Madagascan mountain forests
Lar gibbon – smallest member of the ape family, native to eastern Asia
Walking towards the birds of prey aviaries my attention was caught by a loud screeching noise and I went round the corner to find two of the ugliest chicks I’ve ever seen – they had faces that only a mother could love, though they were cute in their own way and would probably grow into quite nice birds. It was the smaller of the two which was making all the noise, it was ear splitting and constant, but eventually mum appeared from somewhere with some food for them both and the screeching finally stopped.
Striated Caracara chicks – native to the Falkland Islands
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Brazilian Tapirs – native to South America
Crowned Crane – native to Eastern and Southern Africa
View over one of the paddocks towards Skiddaw
The final shot was actually taken from somewhere in the middle of the park as I was walking round but I’ve saved it until last as I think it’s a really nice view. The park has birds of prey flying displays, various animal talks, picnic areas, indoor and outdoor play areas, a cafe and a gift shop, none of which I bothered with; I was a bit disappointed that some of the animals were hiding so I didn’t get to see them but I liked what I did see. For a small-ish park it was very nice so I may very well make a return visit another time.

14 thoughts on “A walk on the wild side

  1. What a wonderful place. You got some great photos of the animals but a shame you didn’t see the red panda though. You were very unkind about the chicks I have to say and the poor things were hungry too 🙂


    1. Okay, I consider myself told off about my opinion of the chicks so I’ve now added a bit to the sentence 🙂 🙂 I thought the park as a whole was really nice, I liked how open everything was and the feeling of space. I was disappointed not to see the red panda but if I make a return visit I may get lucky next time.


  2. You got some wonderful photos. It’s a shame you missed out on some of the animals but that’s the nature of these places, it’s good that they have somewhere to hide and do their own thing, long gone are the days where they’re stuck in cages for everyone to gawp at, thank goodness. It’s set in beautiful surroundings too with those wonderful views.


    1. Even when I was a child I never really liked zoos, I always felt sorry for the animals being stuck in cages. Thankfully people have become more aware over the years so zoos have gradually turned into wildlife parks with larger and more open spaces for the animals. I liked this place as in spite of it not being very big compared to some it was very open and spacious, and the surroundings are lovely.


  3. The chicks certainly weren’t the nicest looking of creatures but I’m sure they would look a lot better once they’ve grown a bit. The first comment was very much tongue-in-cheek though I now feel like I should go back and say sorry to the chicks for calling them ugly 🙂 🙂 The owner of the camp site where I stay has a collection of birds in large aviaries and one of them is a kookaburra, when the daylight fades to dusk it starts ‘laughing’ but goes quiet once darkness comes. The wildlife park is in a lovely location and I thought that view was definitely worth a photo 🙂


  4. It’s a nice park isn’t it. When I went in May I spent alot of time watching two kookaburra mimicking each other.Like two peas in a pod. And I loved the otters and red panda. X


  5. It’s several years since I went to anywhere like that, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it is. There were several animals I didn’t see, including the otters, hopefully I’ll get lucky and see them if I go again 🙂


  6. It amazes me how zebras can have such symmetrical stripes and how different breeds of zebras have different stripe patterns. I loved the young one, she was really cute 🙂


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