Recently we visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park for Jess’s second birthday because of the fact she loves animals and we wanted to do something special for her because it is not every day you turn two after all. The wildlife park, if you are not familiar with the wildlife park, is in Doncaster it is close to the airport actually which means that it is only about an hour from us. It has taken me till now to actually visit and it has been open 8 years. The park is home to around 400 animals which means there is plenty to see we spent around 6 hours at the park which is amazing because it was not very busy due to the fact we visited on a Friday in September. I feel like we got our monies worth because it only cost us £17 each and Jess was free because she is still under 3.
The first animals which we saw on our trip was the baboons which had me in stitches because they were all been cheeky one kept shaking the house which you can see some of them sat on before another one decided that they wanted to mount and try and make babies with another one in front of the other baboons. The park seems to have a fair amount of them as this is only a selection of the species somewhere actually sat near the window just chilling as you can see there are some small ones which are either clinging onto their mum or dad which I think is adore able it is a shame I could not get a closer picture of them.
The camels were one of the most unsociable animals when we visited they wanted to keep their distance from us, however, one of the reasons why this may have occurred could have because it was actually very windy and they wanted to shelter from this element. One of them, when we were watching them, has a constant itch and was scratching against the gate which made me think he was doing it so that we would stay and watch them. There was a number of camels as you can see around 5 in the picture here and there was more inside the barn. You can say for sure the camels are not going to get lonely at all.
Giraffe’s if you have read my Chester Zoo review you will know are one of my favourite animals so when we saw them walk this close to us it was actually amazing. When I took this picture someone had paid to do the feed the animal experience and this Giraffe was walking towards them to get the food it was at this point that Jess said Mr Giraffe go get tea she didn’t want him to miss food which I thought was adorable. I am surprised that she was not scared by the size of them actually but this was not something which bothered her I think she loved seeing the 4 of them and they have a huge enclosure which they share with other animals such as Zebras and Emus all which can be found in similar parts of Africa so would share their habitat in the wild.
The Lemur enclosure is one of those which is very special and different at the YWP because of the fact you are allowed to walk through their enclosure so you can see them swinging and jumping through the trees. This does mean that sometimes it can be hard to see the lemurs because they do seem to be able to blend in with their background however, we were lucky I think they were just about to be fed when we walked through because as you can see they are all chilling on the roof so I would say they were waiting to be fed as there was a keeper close to them. This is another species which YWP have a lot of.
Leopards apparently are an animal which you are not likely to see close up should the park be busy because they are shy animals which means that they are more likely to be hiding at the back of the enclosure, however, as I mentioned before it was pretty quiet the day we managed to visit which means that the leopard came up very close. This was one of the animals which Jess was very interested in we actually had to carry her away from it because of the fact we could see the giraffe’s getting fed just around the corner from this. I think one of the reasons why she liked it is because of the fact that you do not see a lot of Leopards and because of the colour she could see it pretty clearly.
The lions have a huge enclosure I think it is something like 8 acres which is the the size of the complete zoo which they were rescued from in Romania. If you do not know the story of their rescue I suggest you google it but it is a sad one so you might have to have the tissues at the ready. I think if I remember correctly the wildlife park still have something like 8 lions we actually got to hear the male one roar which did actually scare Jess because of the fact that is was so loud so this is something to keep in mind if you are taking a young child. I love how their enclosure seems to have different areas so they do not have to be on top of each other as you can see these two males are chilling out having a nap in the yorkshire sun.
I think one of the cutest pictures which I took on the day was this of the two giant otters having a cuddle and trying to nap because it is one of the natural things and I feel like we were very lucky to see this because it was so quiet. I think this is something which I would be like if I was an otter because of the fact that I am a chilled out animal. YWP only has two giant otters which are something which I would like to see an increase because these animals actually are very cute and one which I would like to see stay around for a while rather than become even more rare than they are currently.
Another animal which the wildlife park is home to is the painted dogs which I did not realise had been renamed from wild fogs so that they were more PR friendly as a blogger this is something which amuses me because even animals want to be PR friendly. There was a hell of a lot of painted dogs at YWP I think they at the time we visited were split into male and females I guess this was something to do with breeding. We spend a short while watching them and actually could hear some sqeals from a hole which the males seem interested in so I am wondering whether they actually had some pups at the time and this is why they were been a little bit secretive. I might have to visit again soon to have a look and see if they do actually have pups. As you can see the animals do get pretty close as a fan of animals this is amazing because I love being able to see them close up as long as they have enough room and the enclosures are not too small I can promise you this is not a problem here.
Polar Bears are something which you can only see at YWP I do not think there is anywhere else in the UK where you can see polar bears which meant that this trip was even more special because it was doing something which you can not usually do at any other zoo/wildlife park. WPD is home to 4 polar bears as you can see two of them they are pretty chilled out animals however, they did end up play fighting I did manage to capture this if you visit my facebook page www.facebook.com/cupsofcharlotte you can watch it as well. There was actually a lady who said that she would love to have one as a pet but I think they are a little bit fierce for that and soon would eat you out of house and home because for Tea they eat 40KG of Beef as well as eggs and carrots on the side. They are currently expanding their enclosure which hopefully will mean in the future there may be more polar bears for us to visit
Rhinos if you remember from my post of Chester was one of Jess’s favouite animals when we visited this time she was shouting Rhino all the way around the park because we had been telling her that we were going to take her to see them for her birthday if she was a lucky girl. The wildlife park is home to two rhinos which if I seem to be remembering correctly were actually white rhinos however, I could be wrong. I found it funny how they had the tyres as well as traffic cones in their enclosure so it means that they could have a lot of fun. Due to the fact that this is one of Jess’s favouite animal we did spend a little bit of time watching them because of the fact she did not want to leave them.
When you visit the wildlife park you do actually get a leaflet which tells you when the keepers are going to do a talk so we was near the tigers when they was meant to be one however, the keeper arrived and we did not realise that you had to ask them questions unlike Chester where they speak to the people around so this is something to note if you are planning a visit. There were 3 tigers I think it was at the wildlife park and we again were lucky that they had just been fed so it meant that they were pretty chilled and actually wanted to pose for pictures for us. They have a beautiful enclosure which you are on a platform looking over them which means that it feels more natural as there is not a lot of steel fences so you feel like they are less caged if you know what I mean.
Jess wanted a break from seeing the animals because it does get hard work so we did visit one of the outdoor play parks and had a lot of fun. My favouite element of the play part was this bit with the sand which you got in a scooper and then had to winch up and they pour down steel slides and this one had a windmill which is spun. This is not something which I have seen before and for sure was a hit with Jess as she was on it for a fair amount of time. I think even Daddy was enjoying it just look at the concentration on his face. This is something which when it is warm I could see a child playing at for a long period of time because I know for sure we all enjoyed it.
I will say if you are going to visit the wildlife when it is not peak season like we did be aware some of the cafe’s and food outlets will be close. I think when we went there was only around two or three food outlets open. We did choose to eat because when you have a toddler they cannot last all day without been fed so we stopped and made her a meal box which she got 5 items for £5 this included a sandwich, drink ,jelly, fruit and sweets. This did see a little bit expensive however, this was something which we was willing to pay because we did not want a grumpy Jess on her birthday. Me and Joe managed to get a panini, bag of crisps and a drink which actually was around the £7 mark I think it was so if it is a nice day you might want to take some food with you are it is pricey more so if there is a few of you. However, as a treat, this is not something which bothered us too much.
Overall we had a great day at Yorkshire wildlife park I sure that this is a place which I will end up visiting again in the future because of the fact that it is not that far for us to travel. It is actually our local wildlife park I think and I want to see the polar bears again because they were super cute I really hope maybe in the future they can get more and maybe breed some because they would be super cute. I would recommend visiting if you are not looking for somewhere huge like a zoo but somewhere which still has rare animals.