Today (24/04/19) I took myself down to a small local-ish zoo in Linton, Cambridge, UK.
Now I’m not usually a fan of zoo’s however I do feel that these days, with so many species under threat, they are a necessary evil for conservation. I personally always check out zoo’s to see if they are part of any conservation programme, and if not, I don’t visit them.
What immediately caught my attention when visiting Linton Zoo’s website, was, “We are a wildlife breeding centre for endangered species, not an entertainment centre”. On further inspection they also make it clear that they try to provide each animal an environment they will feel as comfortable as possible in. There is even a statement that sometimes you won’t see some of the animals because they are provided ample foliage and cover and as none of the animals are locked in / out, they may retreat to their sleeping quarters. The zoo suggests, and my visit today proved this to be great advise, that you take your time and go around the park 2 or 3 times.
The zoo isn’t massive. I reckon you could see everything if you were to just have a look and move on in around 90 minutes. But what it lacks in quantity, it does make up for in quality. There are some pretty cool species at this little zoo. I spent about 6 hours in total there and walked around at least 5 times. Each time, I saw an animal that wasn’t visible last time or was in a different / better position for photographing.
I won’t bore you with images of every animal I managed to capture today, but the animals you are able to see at the zoo include:
African Lion (status vulnerable) – The zoo currently has 2 different enclosures for lions. I’m not entirely sure of the reason behind this, however, my assumption is different packs as each enclosure had a distinctive male alpha. One thing I noticed, and I hope the image above illustrates, is just how ‘chilled’ all the animals in the zoo seemed. Again, I know they are captive, but needs must and this zoo is putting the animals first, not the visitors.
Snow Leopard (status endangered) – there are two of these magnificent cats at the zoo. When I first walked past the enclosure, one was curled up like a domestic cat in it’s ‘den’, whilst the other was in a position that I simply couldn’t get an image from. On my 3rd walk around, I was able to snap the above example of this beauty.
If you’re in the Cambridgeshire / Suffolk / Essex areas and fancy supporting a family zoo who are doing their bit for conservation, please do consider a day out here. They have several picnic tables dotted around the park, kids rides, and today there was a large bouncy castle activity centre in the car park (unsure if this is a permanent fixture) so a fun day out for the whole family.
So if you’d like to do a little more than simply share those ‘How dare they raise millions for Notre Dame but not to save X species?!!!!!’ memes on social media, and ACTUALLY make a difference visiting or supporting this zoo is a great start!