Friday, August 11, 2006

Chester Zoo - 9th August 2006


As I am having 2 weeks off work Victoria and I are filling my time with lots of lovely day trips with Alice. The first of these was last wednesday and was a visit to Chester Zoo.

Victoria and I had already been to Chester Zoo about 5 years ago but we thought that a second trip was needed as half of it was closed due to foot and mouth. We also have Alice who we thought was now at an age where she could appreciate such things.

We set off at about 08:30 and arrived at the Zoo at about 10:45. There was a queue to get in but it only took about 10 minutes of waiting to get to the front. Once inside we released Alice. Out of the buggy she came and on went the reins. We were convinced she would be tired after about 20 minutes of walking but she lasted for most of the day. It was actually her that was dragging us around a lot of the time!!

I don't think I have ever seen Alice so excited. The first time she saw an elephant she was screaming with delight and jumping up and down. She really enjoyed it. Of course all birds were 'Ducks' and anything else in the water (such as Sealions) were 'Fish' to her.

For lunch we had a 'mystery meat' hotdog and chips which seemed to fit the day and I think that we managed to see pretty much everything.

The only slight downer on the day was seeing animals like tigers and elephants in captivity. The sealions, penguins and most of the other animals did not seem to care where they were but the elephants and tigers really did seem out of place. I feel they should really be running around Kenya rather than a pen or killing their own food instead of having it given to them. Still, many of the breeds they have at Chester are endangered or extinct in the wild and the animals are part of a breeding plan to re-introduce them, so it's not too bad really.

Anyway, we were all really tired at the end of this excellent day. Alice slept most of the way home and we all slept soundly that night.

I can't recommend a trip to Chester Zoo highly enough. The animals seem well cared for and there are plenty of keepers giving talks on the animals all through the day.

I know that zoo's are not particularly politically correct but I think that a lot of the work they do is very good and worthwhile, and that many of the animals would not be here today without them.

I took LOADS of pictures. Thanks goes to Chris who kindly loaned me his Nikon 80-200mm zoom lens. This fantastic lens was used to take 99% of the pictures and allowed me to get really close the animals. It is also rather heavy but that is a small price to pay for using such a fine piece of photographic equipment.

One added advantage was that Victoria thought I looked like paperazzi carrying my camera and she said I was embarrasing. Excellent!!!

Anyway, pics here, Chester Zoo here. Well worth a visit.

Next stop, Graves Park Rare Breeds Centre. :-)

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