Friday, 2 January 2015

A great end to the year ...

New Year's Eve also happens to be Mr C's birthday, for better or for worse.  This year it was definitely for worse because we have all been struck down by the flu virus that is doing the rounds so Christmas was really a shadow of what was planned and a week later we were still lacking energy from the bug.  However, two young girls had recovered quicker and were ready and raring to do something for Daddy's birthday.  So on the morning, after the obligatory birthday breaskfast, we decided to go to The Cotsowld Wildlife Park & Gardens.

The day was sunny but freezing, I'm not sure how the animals out of their normal habitats survive in such conditions, even the penguins seemed to be shivering!

A turkey vulture preening his magnificent wings

The meerkats seeking out the sun

A scarlet ibis - captured by  Little Miss C - I didn't actually notice it on the day!

A conspiracy of ring tailed lemurs enjoying the sun on the hill.  It truly looked like they were meditating or doing yoga!

A close up of the two at the back, just love the way that one has its hand on the other's knee.  Later on they were holding hands!!

The otters

The magnificent male rhino on the front lawn

One of the 29 Humboldt penguins - who were sliding all over the place on the ice when they were out of the water.

Such magnificent giraffes

An asiatic lioness - she was truly beautiful.  She had been wandering around outside and then came inside where we were separated by inch thick glass.  The detail with which we could see her was remarkable and when she yawned right there you really could see how fearsome her teeth are!

Whenever we visit zoos or animal parks I am always left in two minds about it.  Whilst it is amazing to be able to see such animals and nowadays they do a lot towards conservation of species it is still hard to see animals and birds in captivity.  There were two beautiful blue macaws, which I had never seen before, but I would much rather see them flying through the jungle canopy.  Again two keas, which are mountain parrots from the south island of New Zealand seemed a sorry sight in a very small enclosure.  But to see how it ignites a passion in the children and lends itself to much discussion of animals, conservation and the environment afterwards tends to make it worth it.  In fact its sparked a fully fledged investigation into the penguins of the world and the gleaning of many new facts.  One of which is that New Zealand is the country which has the most species of penguins in the world - I think that made Mr C's birthday actually! x

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