Saturday, June 30, 2007

Whipsnade Zoo

We are lucky enough to live only 15 minutes away from the country branch of London Zoo. Over the years we have been many times, but often in spurts - one-off entry is expensive, so we have occasionally bought annual pass. We binge on the zoo for a year and then take a break. This time I cashed in supermarket clubcard vouchers and took my animal lover, Star, and Little Cherub. Angel opted to stay home with Dad. I think next year I may buy an annual pass for myself to take Little Cherub (under 3s go free), and then take Star occasionally in the school holidays.

Whipsnade Zoo is a big sprawling place that was originally a farm - large enough that you can take your car in (for a hefty fee) and drive round, though it is more fun and more economical to combine walking with hopping on and off the zoo bus. Perched on top of chalk downs overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury, it is in a very exposed position. Whenever we go we either burn, freeze or drown. On Thursday we needed hot chocolate and hot chips, so you can guess which of the three we suffered from.

The sun did come out briefly, just long enough for us to catch these sun-worshipping lemurs taking advantage of it. (I can never see these without longing to take one home as a pet.)

Here are Windsor and Wellington waiting for lunch. We were very impressed by the delicacy with which they could split open an orange, eat the flesh and leave the peel.

We loved these baby mongoose - I'm not sure whether you can distinguish them in this mongoose muddle.
A particularly charming pig (or red river hog, to give him his proper name)

We were lucky enough to spot the elephants out for a stroll. The younger of the two babies was tiny, and had her trunk loosely tied to mum's tail.

Star took Little Cherub for a ride on another elephant ...

Note for any fans of My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell's first zoo experience was as a keeper at Whipsnade.


Alice Gunther said...

So much fun! What a great day, destination, and photos!

Karen E. said...

Great pictures!