Five of the Best Animal Attractions
by William Gray (May 2012)
Britain leads the pack when it comes to animal attractions. Not only are its zoos and conservation centres some of the finest and most respected in the world, but its range of fur- and feather-inspired days out covers everything from eccentric farm parks to wild swan sanctuaries. Here are five of the finest:
Showing below are all 5 records in "Five of the Best Animal Attractions"
The highlight of a visit to this baa-rmy farm park is the sheep racing where you can place bets (using Ewe-ros) and cheer on Red Ram, Sheargar and other fleet-footed fleeces down a 250-yard course. The sheep duck trials, where border collies round up gaggles of woolly-headed runner ducks, are equally hilarious. There are also traditional sheepdog trials, horse whispering demonstrations, pony rides and farm safaris.
Nature Park, Abbotsbury Tourism Ltd, Abbotsbury
From mid-May to late June, hundreds of fluffy grey cygnets hatch from nests at this glorious swan sanctuary on the Dorset coast – and you can get close-up views thanks to a network of paths that thread through the swannery’s maze of reedbeds and waterways. Help out with the hand feeding of up to 600 swans, daily at 12 and 4pm, and see if you can crack the puzzle of the giant willow maze.
Alfriston Road, Alfriston
Drusillas doesn’t need big, charismatic critters to keep visitors rapt. Instead, it combines small wonders like meerkats, otters, tamarins and penguins with inspired interpretation. Kids will be hooked on Zoolympics where they’re challenged with wild feats, such as jumping as high as a serval cat. Lots of push-button, flap-lifting displays and a well-planned Zoo Route maintain interest levels all the way to the fabulous walk-through lemur enclosure.
4. Twycross Zoo
Burton Road (on the A444), Atherstone
This is the place to go for visiting your distant hairy cousins. A breeding centre for all kinds of endangered primates, from bonobos and gorillas to orang-utans and lemurs, Twycross blends monkey business with serious conservation. Don’t miss the gibbons which, if you’re lucky, will whoop themselves into a singing frenzy, the black siamangs using their balloon-like throat pouches to amplify their extraordinary calls.
Your very own Highlands safari, part of this excellent zoo is a drive-through reserve where you can spot European bison, yak, Tibetan wild ass, mouflon and red deer from the comfort of your car. Then it’s on foot to see more mountain wildlife, ranging from red pandas and Japanese macaques to wolves and the highly endangered Amur tiger.
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