Sunday, 13 September 2015

VIP Carnivore Tour - Yorkshire Wildlife Park

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I really enjoy visiting the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’ll put the links at the bottom of this post to my other two posts that I’ve done about the park in case you've missed them. Well this week, it was finally time for me to do the VIP tour with focus on carnivores that I’d had booked for a few months now. 
The VIP tour that I did focussed on the parks carnivores which included meerkats, painted hunting dogs, leopards, tigers and of course the parks famous lions. Like with the polar bear experience the day starts before the park opens making the experience feel more special than if it happened during park hours. 
My first stop of the day was to feed the meerkats, an animal which I didn’t associate with being a carnivore. Truthfully the meerkats are an animal that I don’t really look too much as I’m too busy looking at the lions and heading towards the polar bear enclosure. Getting to go into the enclosure and feed them breakfast whilst hearing about each meerkats personality was a surprise but a great addition to the tour.
Next on the tour was a trip to see the lions. The Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s lions were rescued back in 2010 from a zoo in Romania where they were kept in extremely small cages. It was a national campaign to raise money to rescue these lions to bring them over to the wildlife park where they have significantly more space to roam around in now. On my tour I got to get up close and personal and feed two of the lionesses, Julie and Carla. It is very surprising just how big these lions are, yet both were unbelievably gentle taking the food from the tongs. Being able to feed a lion is something I never thought I would be able to do so was the highlight of the tour for me.

Julie waiting for her food!

If you don’t know the Yorkshire Wildlife Park recently saw the birth of three Amur tiger cubs named Harley, Hope and Hector, who are ridiculously adorable. It was such a wonderful experience to get the opportunity to feed Hope and Hector. Unfortunately Harley and mum Tschuna were too full from yesterdays dinner so didn’t come over for our offerings of more food. Like the lions, the tiger cubs were so gentle in taking the food from us. I’d only seen the cubs from afar so it was incredible to have them right at the other side of the fence to me.

Feeding Hope - an Amur Tiger Cub

Personally, I preferred my polar bear experience; however that may be due to the fact that I just really love polar bears. I know for a fact that if you really love the big cats of the park you will absolutely love this experience. Its worth remembering that the animals are not trained so for example, Drake the leopard is extremely shy so he wasn’t having been coaxed over for food one bit so depending on what mood the animals are in you may not get to feed every carnivore in the park but you will get up close to them and get a glimpse at behind the scenes. Personally at £150.00 for two people (including park admission) I think it is worth every penny. It truly was an unforgettable experience. 

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