• Claire Stott

A walk on the wild side

During a brief trip away from home I visited the Peak Wildlife Park, located in the Staffordshire Peak District.

This unique little place gives the opportunity for visitors to walk among some of their exhibits (provided they stick to the designated paths) and allows them to get up close and personal to some of the animal residents. It was great to able to photograph the animals without the usual hindrance of glass and bars!

Whilst everyone has differing opinions about zoos and wildlife parks however, I believe they do have a vital role to play in conservation and certainly in education. Certainly some zoo do fall short in their standards, however the vast majority do provide excellent habitats and care to their animals.

Peak Wildlife Park is one such park. The animals roam in large, naturalistic enclosures and all appear content and well cared for. Those in the open exhibits seem either curious or otherwise unconcerned about human visitors in their space, and carry about their daily lives relatively undisturbed.

The lemurs in particular were intrigued and many came over to investigate us before returning to their business of feeding, grooming and caring for their young. There were two species on display here, the feisty ring tailed lemurs and black and white ruffed lemurs.

A baby lemur feeding from it’s mother as we watched on


Sleepy lemurs


Ring tailed lemur


Grooming


Black and white ruffed lemur


Tucking into breakfast


Yawning lemur


The day was rounded off by a special visit to meet and feed the Capybara herd.

It was a fascinating and wonderful experience getting so close to these giants, the largest of the rodent family and feel their incredibly coarse fur! Despite their intimidating size, with their skittish behaviour and even their vocalisations you can’t deny the resemblance to their miniature guinea pig cousins.

Many thanks to their keeper who was very informative and kept the Capybara at ease. Although hesitant to approach at first their curiosity and hunger soon got the better of them.

Here are some of the park’s other inhabitants:

White Naped Cranes


A Meerkat digging for insects


A gang of bizarre looking Helmeted Guineafowl

Handsome peacock


His beautiful peahen


The critically endangered Waldrabb Ibis


A female Golden Pheasant


Flemish giant rabbits sunbathing


The humboldt penguin colony at feeding time


Vietnamese Sika Deer


Greater rhea


— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2016 © http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#wildlife #capybara #birds #whitenapedcrane #ringtailedlemur #lemurs #conservation #zoo #peakwildlifepark #humboldtpenguins

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