Today we had a lovely family visit to the South Lakes Safari Zoo. While I'm generally not a huge fan of wildlife in captivity it really is a wonderful place where the animals take priority, with big enclosures and many animals mixing and wandering freely throughout large areas of the park.
They do fantastic conservation work through the various wildlife charities they support, especially the Sumatran Tiger Trust, a charity close to my heart, and give honest information about the conservation status of the species they keep and the threats they have to endure in the wild. It certainly fuels the fire in the bellies of my little wildlife warriors.
Here are some of my favourite snaps of the day.
My camera was attacked by an angry bird (the crowned crane). I should have known from the unhinged look that it wasn't to be trusted. It gave me a fair shock, and a chuckle once I'd checked that it hadn't scratched my lense. And just as we were leaving my daughter looked up and found an unexpected treat high up in a tree, a beautiful red panda. But the absolute highlight of our visit was the snow leopard family, just unbelievably amazing animals. Oh yes, and I can't forget the prairie dogs which are always a favourite. My youngest little girl misheard what I called them, so for the rest of the visit they were 'fairy bears'.