Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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Having taken out a subscription the the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) on a visit to London Zoo in Regents Park last year, a trip to Whipsnade Zoo was definitely on the cards.

The car park entrance to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The car park entrance to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Coming from the M1 and A5 we parked in the car park on the right hand side of the road, requiring the use of the subway under the local road (B4540). Being a quiet day, only one pay desk was open, however since there was someone asking lots of questions, the queue built up until another ZSL person came along with a ticket scanner also those of us in the queue with ZSL cards and pre-bought tickets to enter.

Inside, where to go first?

We opted to see the ring-tailed lemurs, but they were hiding, so only a tail was seen. We headed for the farm. Turkeys were roaming around, however there were donkeys, llamas, goats and more.

Poitou Donkey

Poitou Donkey

A short walk across from the farm was the railway that encircles a section of the park. From the train a wide range of animals can be seen – Elephants, Rhinos, Camels, Deer and even an Ostrich.

Kerr Stuart Locomotive - Excelsior

Kerr Stuart Locomotive - Excelsior

The train was hauled by a 1908 locomotive – Excelsior. The line is a 2ft gauge with the rolling stock fitted with Norwegian chopper couplings. (For those of you who have seen other narrow gauge train pictures from me, will recognise this as being the same as the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways).

Leaving the train, we found the tigers were asleep in their enclosure, whilst some elephants were embarking on some gardening – tidying up the grass on the bank behind the tigers. After a snack, and a limited amount of time left to see other animals, we headed to the Red Pandas, who spent most of their time hiding in their oak tree.

Swimming Oriental small-clawed otter

Swimming Oriental small-clawed otter

The Oriental small-clawed otters put on a show. One would not let go of his pebble. One also did an impression of a Meerkat, standing on its hind legs and looking round. So we decided to head up to the Meerkats.

ZSL Whipsnade Meerkat

ZSL Whipsnade Meerkat

The three Meerkats that were showing off provided a show, including one who gave us the typical pose on top of the rock in their enclosure. On the way back to the exit and the car, we saw the giraffes and a peacock.

Hopefully it will not be too long before we go again.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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