Sunday, 1 February 2015

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Doncaster is one of the last places you’d expect to go to see lions, tigers and polar bears but the Yorkshire Wildlife Park offers you the opportunity to see all of those animals and many more.

The park is huge. If you’re looking at the park map it doesn’t even come close to emphasising the sheer size of the park. If you go and visit you’ll soon see why this is the case, the enclosures for each and every animal are exceptionally big. You’re never going to be able to recreate a space as large as the animal’s natural habitats but Yorkshire Wildlife Park does a great job in giving them space to roam and in also recreating habitats similar to how they’d live in the wild. At the end of the day we all would like these animals to live in the wild but these are animals that wouldn’t survive there due to reasons like being highly endangered or have lived in captivity all their lives so the wildlife park is a great place for these animals to go and live. It is refreshing to see them in such open spaces compared to the cramp conditions of zoos that I have visited and truthfully the animals do look happy and so well looked after.   

For me the highlight of the park is the newest resident, 16 year old Victor the polar bear who is in retirement from the European breeding program. Victor is one of the biggest polar bears in Europe and he is simply one of the most beautiful animals I have ever seen. Victor is the first polar bear that I have ever seen in real life and to see him plod around his extremely large enclosure is a wonderful sight to witness. I’m sure the park offers an animal everyone in a family would fall in love with and could sit watching them for hours. From the big cats of the lions, tigers and leopards to the tall giraffes to tiny meerkats, the park has it all. 

It is certainly not like a zoo. The enclosures are extremely large which in some instances means that you can struggle to see an animal in the enclosure at all. I know on one of my first visits to the park after the arrival of Victor the polar bear; he was asleep in the cave in his enclosure meaning it was extremely difficult to see him. However, it is worth remembering that this is a wildlife park and it’s lovely to see them in such large enclosures and that animals aren’t going to be lively 24 hours a day. Unfortunately animals are unpredictable and you can’t assume they’ll just sleep when the park closes. It is for this reason, I would recommend the park for people of all ages but I feel that younger children may be less understanding of why the animals are sleeping. Despite this the park does have large play areas so it really does cater for everybody. The park’s pathways can be muddy and dusty in places depending on the weather so it’s worth dressing appropriately. 
Personally, I absolutely love the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It is fantastic to see such incredible animals in Yorkshire. I recommend the park to everybody; it’s very much worth a visit. Seeing the animals, to the delicious Safari Cafe in the entrance courtyard to the gift shop where you can pick up a souvenir for all price ranges, it is truly a fantastic day out for the entire family. I for one am already planning my next trip to the park.  

For more information on the Yorkshire Wildlife Park visit the website by clicking here 

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