Yesterday (Saturday 10th November), me and Jacob took a trip to Chester Zoo! I hadn’t been for a few years and I used to love it as a child, so I was super excited!
When we arrived we collected a map from a very welcoming member of staff at the entrance and sped off to go and see what we could find. When we reached the first enclosure we saw a beautiful family of Asian elephants, two youngsters and two elders. The two little ones were playing with one another and chasing each other around, it was very sweet to see them so happy and playful, especially after the heartbreaking loss of two young elephants in October.
We saw lots of cheeky monkeys during our visit too… apes, chimpanzees, orangutans, baboons, macaques, gibbons, spider monkeys and more! They all had very different characteristics and personalities, some seemed calm and independent whereas others seemed to be super lively and loved to cause trouble! My favourite monkeys were the spider monkeys as there was a very cute baby one who kept coming to the glass of the enclosure to say hello to everyone… he was very curious of all of the people, and also enjoyed showing off his climbing skills (until he hung upside down from a low branch with his tail and couldn’t work out how to get back up… )
As well as seeing lots of monkeys, we also saw some adorable bears! My favourite bears were the adorable Sun Bears. I had read about these amazing little bears before visiting the zoo. A male and a female were rescued from Cambodia after their parents were killed and they were taken and mistreated as pets. They arrived at Chester Zoo in 2015 where they were cared for and loved and the incredible staff nursed them back to health. The two bears mated with one another and their sweet baby bear cub Kyra was born in June this year! Sun Bears are the smallest species of bear and little Kyra weighed just 400 grams at birth!
While we were at the zoo, Kyra had gotten herself stuck on one of the metal beams at the top of her enclosure. Her mum, Milli had tried to get to her but was unable to climb that high. Many visitors sat and watched the cub for hours, waiting to see if she would be able to get down…
We had been watching her for around 15 minutes when she finally managed to get herself onto a branch and make her way back to the ground! Everyone cheered for the bear cub and watched as she ran over to her mother for comfort. The two bears had such an amazing bond, they were playing with each other in such a sweet and caring way before Kyra decided she was hungry and latched onto her mother for some milk.
Watching them together was incredibly heart-warming, I just wanted to get in there and cuddle with them both! To think that these amazing creatures are endangered is just so sad… I will never understand how anyone can be cruel to animals.
When we passed by the cheetah enclosure, it took me a moment to spot him/her! The big kitty was sat amongst the trees and the foliage and blended in rather well! He/she was sat in such a proud position, watching all of the people on the bridge looking down at him/her. The incredible creature was looking right at me (probably thinking about eating me for lunch!) and I was mesmerised by his/her wide golden eyes. I have also seen big cats as such majestic animals, so beautiful, so clever, brave and strong but they also seem to have a playful side to them too! I could have stayed on that bridge watching this stunning cheetah all day long… but we had other animals to visit.
One of my favourite moments was seeing the giraffes. At first, we could not see them outside, so we headed into their indoor enclosure to see them. I was amazed at how close we were to them and although I knew they were tall animals… standing so close to them made me realise just how tall they really are! I felt about 3 inches tall… their legs alone were taller than me! I was astonished by them. They were so calm and relaxed animals, and I would absolutely love to hand feed them one day (another item from my bucket list!)
Next to the giraffe enclosure, we found okapis… for some reason, I absolutely love these animals. I don’t know when I became so fond of them, but I think they are simply adorable! To make our visit even more amazing, there was a sweet okapi calf exploring her outdoor enclosure!
The part that I was the most excited about was visiting the bat enclosure! I used to love this when I was younger and I would easily spend over an hour in there, watching the bats fly around, some of them coming so close to you that you can feel the air on your face as they swoosh past! Jacob was not 100% convinced that heading into this free-fly zone was for him… but I managed to twist his arm into coming in with me! He was a little bit jumpy, but overall I think he realised just how amazing these creatures are. I would have stayed in there all day long if I could, but there was still so much for us to see!
We headed over towards the rhino enclosure where we found a beautiful baby rhino spending time with his mum. Everyone was very quiet inside the enclosure, making sure not to frighten the youngster. I was smitten with the little guy! Jumaane was just 3-4 months old and was absolutely gorgeous. Such amazing animals. It is always nice to see how such large, intimidating and potentially dangerous animals being so tentative and caring with their babies. This is something that has always interested me… seeing how wildlife animals act with their babies, finding out how they bring up their young, learning about how they survive in the wild and realising how unbelievably clever they are, is simply amazing. Every animal is so different, yet so clever in their own individual ways and being able to see such creatures up close, is just breath-taking.
Near to the rhino’s, we spotted the meerkats! I love these little animals, they are so full of energy! Running around chasing one another climbing the rocks in their enclosure. They remind me of my youngest dachshund Lola as she is always sitting up on her back legs like a little meerkat!
The Penguins definitely made me smile during our visit! There was one little fella who was loving all of the attention from the visitors, following their hands on the glass and swimming around in front of everyone. I managed to capture a picture of him looking pretty happy in the water!
We hovered near the tiger enclosure for quite a while in the hope to see one of the beautiful majestic animals… just as I was about to walk away, one of them came out of nowhere and walked proudly across a log on the ground, right in front of the glass window! I wasn’t quite fast enough my camera and missed her/him… but it was incredible!
When we visited the lions, they were eating their lunch! We saw two females and one male, all laying down in different parts of their enclosure, enjoying their food. A cute little girl was with her dad next to us and she said ‘look daddy! There is Nala… she is eating ice cream!’ This made me laugh as if that is not my future child I do not know what is… The Lion King is and always will be my favourite Disney movie.
I could go on and on talking about all of the individual animals that we saw at the zoo but we really would be here all day! It was a lovely day out and I really enjoyed it, though I was a little disappointed that we completely forgot about all of the amazing animal talks and feeding times that we could have listened to. Although we did go on the Lazy River Boat trip around The Islands which was nice… it was a little bit chilly during our visit so we didn’t see many animals from the boat, but I am sure on a bright sunny day we would have seen more!
I was amazed by the sloths… I have always thought that sloths are just adorable! We were walking through an indoor enclosure when Jacob spotted two lazy sloths who were sitting above our heads! I never knew we could walk through the room that the sloths were in, I thought you had to look at them through glass windows, so it was a cute surprise!
Another animal which I was amazed by, was the Tree Kangaroo… This was something that I had never even heard of, let alone seen! It was one of the cutest animals that I have ever seen. It was sitting in a tree looking at all of the people through the window. I have never seen anything like it, I wanted to cuddle it, it was that cute!
At the end of our trip (we were there from 11 am until closing time at 4 pm, but could easily have stayed longer!) we headed to the gift shop to find ourselves some souvenirs. We had already purchased a penguin cup for £9 at the start of our trip, as these came with unlimited refills on any soft drink throughout the day. When we arrived at the gift shop, I picked myself a cute little sloth teddy and a polar bear bracelet. I was looking for a bear bracelet as a reminder of the adorable baby bear and her mummy, but they didn’t have any… so the polar bear was the closest alternative! Jacob picked a little sloth teddy magnet for his mini fridge in his bedroom; so we left with cute matching sloths!
Overall we had a really great day, there were lovely staff members on hand giving information about the animals and making everyone feel welcome, and the animals were incredible!
I just want to say a huge thank you to all of the amazing members of staff at Chester Zoo who work so hard to make sure that all of the animals are well cared for and well looked after, all of you make such a huge difference to the lives of these amazing creatures and should be so proud of all that you do. Visitors can see just how passionate each member of staff is towards the animals and it is really heart-warming to see. So thank you for saving many endangered animals, for trying to keep so many species alive and showing so much love and kindness. You are all wonderful people.