Northumberland Zoo ~ October 2021 ~ part 1

I’ve been to this zoo a couple of times before, once with Sophie back in 2017 when it had only been been open 2 years, and then in 2019 with a couple of my grandkids.

Since then the zoo has expanded and now has two Arctic Foxes, and even more exciting, 2 snow leopards. They had to be visited of course, (cats R us 😊) so off Sophie and I went.

Firstly we stopped to see the Black Tailed Prairie Dogs which are also new to us. They are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. They look quite cute and comical for big rats!

Black Tailed Praire Dogs

Next are the Meerkats, small Mongooses, (or should that be Mongeese? Not sure, anyway, Mongoose plural) found in southern Africa. 

Meerkat

The aviary is the next stop, and whilst caged birds hurt my soul, they have some beauties here.

Blue & Gold Macaw. Being shy.
African Grey Parrot

I’d photographed the owls etc previously so didn’t spend much time there. We went off to see the ring tailed lemurs but came across the Raccoon section first. Native to North America they are so cute!

Raccoon

The ringtailed lemurs are great to visit as you are allowed to walk through their space. They don’t attack people (which is good of them I think) and they gambol about swinging from trees and generally have a high old time.

ring tailed lemur having a rest
king of the swingers.

Another ratty beasty is a giant rodent from South America called Capybara, they’re semi-aquatic which means they spend a lot of time in water, they even mate under-water. That sounds fun! 😀

Atten_shun!

The giant tortoises were amazing to see, they look quite pre-historic. The one at the top is a Sulcata tortoise, also known as African Spurred Tortoises, they can grow to be one of the largest reptiles, weighing in at over 90 kilos. The one at the bottom is a Leopard tortoise and they can live to be over 100 years and weigh up to 55 kilos. They are named for their distinctive yellow colouration with black spots, similar to a leopard. Hmm, can’t really see it myself. I didn’t think of leopards when I saw them anyway.

Sulcata and Leopard troughing.

That will do for this time, stay tooned though for next week when we get to the big cats and doggies.

📷 😊

Northumberland Country Zoo ~ September 2017

I have mixed feelings about zoo’s, on the one hand I can’t help feeling animals and birds should be free, on the other hand seeing and photographing animals and birds you don’t/can’t normally see in daily life is always a thrill.  I only found out about Northumberland Zoo this year, so back in September Sophie and I went off to see what it was all about.  The zoo only got their licence in 2015, so it is quite new, and their philosophy is as good as it gets.

Our mission is to become a leader in the education and conservation of wildlife and their unique habitats, making it accessible to all whilst still providing a compelling visitor experience.

Our vision is to see a change in the perception towards wildlife and habitats which will lead to a sustainable natural world.

  • CONSERVATION IMPACT To increase our support for more conservation programmes including ones which we currently are involved with, both in-itu and ex-situ (natural environment and enclosure).
  • ANIMAL COLLECTION To set high standards and excel in the husbandry of the species in which we keep providing them with the opportunity to express natural behaviours.
  • SUSTAINABILITY To create an animal collection that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the long term.
  • To increase awareness, understanding and support of our animal collection and its projects as a centre for conservation and education excellence in the North East and beyond.

Here are some of the inmates that posed for us

Does anyone NOT love a meerkat?

or their babies?

This chap maybe not so cute

CAPE CRESTED PORCUPINE. Hystrix africaeaustralis.   Porcupines are not able to shoot their quills, they have to reverse into their attackers for the dangerous quills to stick in!

They say you’re only ever 9 feet away from a rat…

CAPYBARA. Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris.   Capybara are the largest rodent in the world and they are semi-aquatic which means they spend a lot of time in water, they even mate under-water!

Back to cute..

RING-TAILED LEMUR.  Lemur catta.  IUCN Red List Status: Endangered.  Ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, which they then rub all the way along their tails to then waft their tails at other lemurs in ‘stink fights’!

I do love exotic birds, such a nice change from spuggies 🙂

LAUGHING KOOKABURRA. Dacelo novaeguineae. Laughing Kookaburra are the largest species of Kookaburra in the world.

EAGLE OWL. Bubo bubo.  All owls have a fur like surface on their feathers which mean that they are quiet fliers and they can sneak up on prey, however this means they are not waterproof!

LOVEBIRD. Agapornis spp.  Lovebirds mate for life and pairs can be seen snuggled up together – hence the name.

As well as exotic creatures, there are some more familiar animals

CLYDESDALE. Fudge the Clydesdale Horse. He is just a big friendly giant. Clydesdales were bred as heavy horses to help with farm work when mechanical machinery had not been invented yet!

PIG.  Pigs have a very exact gestation period which is easy for remembering – 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days! After which, they can have at least a dozen piglets.

FALLOW DEER. Dama dama. Fallow deer can run up to 30mph and jump up to 2m in height!

And I’ll finish up with my favourites of the day, the humble Chicken. CHICKEN G. Gallus domesticu
There are hundreds of breeds of chicken bred for their meat, egg production or just purely for their looks.  I’m not quite sure which category these fine specimens fall into, Comedic Value wasn’t on the list!

For more cuteness, exotica and extra animals, the full album can be found HERE

and the zoo’s website HERE

Cal & Frag’s Excellent Adventure

I had a day out today with my little pal Cal, as he is on summer hols until he starts big school in September. We wore adventure hats (but it got too hot so that didn’t last long) & Cal had the Nikon S1 and I had my Fuji and we went off to Kirkley Hall Zoo to take some pictures of the birds and animals. It’s a long old journey, 1hr, for a little one but he kept me entertained the whole way there as he doesn’t stop talking unless he’s sleeping. 🙂

and we're off!
and we’re off!

The first thing we saw was on the path as we went in, there are several peacocks wandering around the place.

White peacock
White peacock     

Alpaca
Alpaca

Then an enclosure with these giant rodents from South America

Capybara
Capybara

Capybara breakfast
Capybara breakfast

Cal didn’t like these as they are ‘big’, he likes smaller animals, and especially…

Rabbits
Rabbits

Backlit Bunny Bigeyes
Backlit Bunny Bigeyes

and the keepers got one out for him to stroke

Strokey rations (hipstamatic)
Strokey rations (hipstamatic)

After the bunny bit we went and saw some more birds

white peacock up a height
white peacock up a height

Pink Parrot
Pink Parrot

that’s the best of a bad bunch not the best as the focus is a bit off which I hate, but the colour is too good not to show and Cal loved it.

Blue eared pheasant
Blue eared pheasant

difficult to get past the wire fences as there’s a big gap between where you can stand and where the fence is.

Kookaburra
Kookaburra

Mr & Mrs Kookaburra
Mr & Mrs Kookaburra

goose
goose

Emu
Emu

Then we saw a play area..

cal climbing
cal climbing

and Cal got to play with some kids on the see~saw, I didn’t take pics as people can be funny about others photographing theirs.

climbing frame & Cal (hipstamatic)
climbing frame & Cal
(hipstamatic)

and we then saw a driving place..

brum brum
brum brum

and then we went to lunch..

Ham sambo & apple juice
Ham sambo & apple juice (hipstamatic)

Cal had spotted a sign saying face painting was going on in the afternoon in the Bunny house, and it was ‘can I can I can I?’ how could I resist? So the deal was if he ate all his sandwich he could have his face done. And of course he ate the lot.

On the way out of the cafe, he saw a carved bench that had a green man face, and decided he needed to take a picture of it as it had a nose like his Dad’s.

close-up
close-up

and this is the shot he took without any help from me.

C&N-4

but my fave one of his is this one..

Cal's feet
Cal’s feet.

Going back to the zoo we saw this fellow crossing the car park..

stroll on
stroll on

Then off to the bunny shed..

face painting
face painting

 

Spiderman! (hipstamatic)
Spiderman!
(hipstamatic)

We had another wander about and saw more bunnies

Bunny chilling.
Bunny chilling.

and a chipmunk, though this is through glass and fence so not the greatest,

chipmunk
chipmunk

red crowned crane
red crowned crane.

And then we drove home, and Cal fell asleep most of the way, I asked him which was the best bit of the day, and the answer was… face painting. 🙂

my little superhero.
my little superhero.

A day to put in the ‘Treasured Memories’ box in my head.

laters gaters

😉