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. 


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!


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! 😀


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