26 June, 2012

Fota Wildlife Park

V and I recently were discussing what to do on a weekend, and he suggested we go to Fota Wildife Park. Not being one who likes zoos at all (because let's face it, you can only see the same animals so many times before you lose interest), I was quick to dismiss the idea. He then informed me that it wasn't a zoo but a wildlife park and that many animals roam free on the grounds. 
I was interested, so we went. It was sort of hilarious to see some of the animals who are native to Africa with the Irish countryside as their background scenery.

But we had a good time nonetheless. I kept thinking about the weather that Ireland has been experiencing this summer (an average below 55 degrees F), and with all the rain I had to wonder how cold these animals got - being from, you know... AFRICA. But they didn't seem to be bothered.

This was the first time I'd ever come across these birds, and I must say they cracked me up. V says they're common in Poland and some people own them like chickens! Amazing! I must have some when we have a place of our own and room for birds.
I don't know what they're really called, but to me they look like a cross between a Parasaurolophus and a turkey wearing a lucha libre mask.

Simply awesome...

Something I learned was that black swans not only exist but they have red eyes and beaks! So cool!

This guy is called a Mara, and I couldn't get over how much it looked like a cross between a dog and a bunny.

Kangaroos are all over the place. In fact, one bumped into me as it was passing, as if I were not there. Apparently you can get close enough to pet them (though you are not supposed to), but this was about as close as I felt comfortable being. They do after all have claws and are surprisingly strong according to my Discovery Channel knowledge. Besides... who wants fleas?

A Blue Heron

Timon... (a meerkat)
Mmm! Good stick!

We also saw cheetahs being fed, and watched a different cheetah across the park pace back and forth in his pen making noises and never losing eye contact with the antelope that were placed directly across from him. Poor thing. It's true what they say about taking the animal out of the wild.

Anyway, it was a very fun day and if you have some time and are in the area, I would recommend going to Fota Wildlife Park at least once. It was an interesting experience seeing animals just running around free like that, and the ones that aren't free have huge pens so they're not at all cramped like I've seen in other zoos. 
Let me know how you like it!

Also I just wanted to give mad props to my amazing husband to whom credit goes for most of these lovely photos! Great job V! I love you!


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