Friday, 31 May 2013

We're going to the zoo...

DD is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, which surprises most people who know her as she is a very quiet child. However, she loves roller-coasters and has infected her brother with her enthusiasm. Their idea of a brilliant day out is to visit a theme park. I have never yet paid anything like full entrance price. Yesterday I used my points from S*insburys to pay for entrance to Chessington World of Adventures.

This ticks a number of boxes; fun, scary and exciting roller-coasters for my thrill-seeking offspring and an aquarium and zoo for their more sedate mother. The children are old and trustworthy enough to go around the rides themselves, leaving me and my camera to explore the zoo.

This is a Grevy's zebra. Aren't those patterns fabulous? Apparently each pattern is unique.

Who can resist meerkats?

Well, I can't! This little chap was acting as sentinel.

They had proper big zoo animals as well, including an iconic Asiatic lion:

I was very glad there was some sturdy, thick glass between me and this fellow:

These are Humboldt penguins from South America.

This sea-lion was having a break between shows.

These are Asian short-clawed otters. I arrived just after feeding time:

Like most zoos in the UK, Chessington is actively involved in conservation projects around the world and they work hard to educate their visitors. My Mother-in-law can remember visiting the zoo on a school trip. I just hope that some of today's visitors leave the roller-coaster queues long enough to take a look!


  1. I thought I was visiting a caring blog - until I read this post.
    Animals in their own habitat are able to live their lives as nature intended, elephants and other animals roam for miles,and are able to satisfy their own needs and instincts.
    Zoos do not provide a natural habitat. Zoos feed animals according to how they think they should be fed, wild cats are denied food and starved on certain days of the week in an attempt to copy their natural way of life in the wild. This is not humane.
    Keeping wild animals behind glass or other barriers and restricting their behaviour is not humane.
    Regular stunning of the animals to inspect them is not humane.
    Regular stunning of the animals to obtain sperm is not humane.
    Enforced pregnancy by artificial insemination is not humane.
    Visitors goggling at the animals at close quarters is not humane.
    What goes on behind the scenes out of view of visitors is not humane.
    Killing "surplus" stock and feeding it to the other animals is not humane.
    This list could go on and on - I wish people would wake up and realise just what is happening to animals, cruelty comes in many forms, wake up and realise that wild animals are just that - wild - and that conservation comes in many guises, animals in zoos is not the true meaning of conservation.
    If an animal had a choice whether to be "conserved" in a zoo or to live out its days in its natural habitat which do you think it would choose?
    People like you who continue to pay to see animals in zoos pay to further distress and inhumanity.

    1. Jan, thank you for taking the time to leave your views. I do not intend to enter into a long argument; as you will have gathered from reading my blog I am not a confrontational person, nor do I like causing offence. However, I did not pay to visit the zoo, I "paid" for the visit to the theme park, and my visit was a by-product. But that is probably beside the point. I do feel that groups such as the Zoological Society of London, where the ultimate aim is to "promote and achieve worldwide conservation for animals and their habitats" do have a valid role to play in keeping animals in their natural habitats. I suspect that we will never agree on this, but I am sorry to have caused you offence. Lesley

  2. Lesley this a double edged sword in terms of the animals in the zoo, should they be in there, would those reared in captivity survive if returned to the wild, what is the answer, it is a long standing issue which will continue to be debated for a long tine to come. Lesley I always enjoy your blog, thank you
    Lots of love
    :-) xxxxxx


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