On our third trip in as many years to Blackpool Zoo as a photographer I always look forward to taking along a camera and capturing the animals. Usually these photos just end up left on the hardrive or on Facebook. But this time I thought I would write a blog.
Blackpool zoo has been on the site since 1972, before which it was host to the Royal Lancashire Show and before that an airport. Blackpool zoo is a well-established home to the animals, though new enclosures and homes have been created over the years not least for my personal favourite the Wolves. Wolf Ridge was built in 2012. A pack of Iberian wolves now live here. They are beautiful animals, though they were a little lazy when I last visited.
The zoo is home to some big cats too, The Amur Tigers, now with cubs and the African Lions. These cats are really big and until you see them for real it’s a real eye opener.
Amur Tigers are an endangered species so it’s really special to see two healthy cubs. They are certainly playful, though always just out of sight of my lens.
The Lions are always a big attraction and probably the busiest area of the Zoo. Wallace; a maturing male has two lionesses, Rachel and Gillian. Three female cubs were born to Gillian in 2009 and they have really integrated into the pride very well.
The gorillas who live on Gorilla Mountain are interesting to watch. Gorilla Mountain was opened in 2000. It’s a natural enclosure of rocks, caves and waterfalls which is a perfect environment to the gorillas and is also a perfect opportunity for some photography and to study them. There are six gorillas, a silverback male, three females and two youngsters.
The active oceans enclosures are home to the Zoo’s Sea Lions and the Magellanic penguins. The Sea Lion pool was originally built in the 1970’s but the pool has been transformed over the years to a natural environment with huge glass windows to viewers can get up close to the noisy and playful animals. The penguins are fab little animals again like the sea lions full of character.
Becoming endangered in the wild due to hunting and deforestation the Bornean orangutans it’s great to see a thriving small population of these animals. They are very solitary unlike most other primates preferring to be alone. The Orangutans here are just as happy swinging around or sitting picking their noses. The Orangutan outlook is well worth a visit and it’s next to a new play area. Ideal to take a break and lets the kids play for a bit.
The farm area and train are also close by and offer a distraction for the kids.
The Red Panda is a particular highlight for me. Just look at the photos and see why. They are beautiful and look so soft and gentle. The Red Panda is actually more closely related to the Racoon that the well-known black and white Panda.
The Iberian Wolves as mentioned earlier are my favourite attraction. This is probably due to my love of dogs and knowing all dogs originate from Wolves. Iberian Wolves are originally from Europe more specifically the Iberian Peninsula. They are lighter in weight that the better-known North American Timber Wolves. Their coat is finer and less dense due to the European temperatures being much warmer.
Also a big attraction is the Amazonia enclosure. Home to the very active and inquisitive squirrel monkeys. These like to get close, but it’s a good idea to keep your fingers to yourself as they can bite. They are cheeky little fella’s as I am sure you will see from the photos. There are other monkeys in the enclosure but these are not always as easy to spot as they are a little shyer. There is also plenty of birdlife and ducks.
There are lots of other animals to see including two elephants, Giraffes, Otters, Owls, Lemurs, Giant tortoises, Wallabies and many many more.
Oh, did I mention the cheeky Meerkats?
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and viewing the photos even more.
For more information on Blackpool Zoo and its animals please visit the website – Blackpool Zoo