Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire, England

by Emma Bumpus on March 16, 2013

Education, entertainment and experience are the perfect “three Es” for careertraveller and family to go exploring this month.

In constant search of ‘paradise’ and all things unique we enter a dynamic hub of activity that unravels a story of love, dedication, inspiration and ultimate hard work, built around a visionary mix of “Conservation, Education and Fun for all”.

Unlike any other zoo we feel ready for safari amidst a jungle of architectural landscape and 400 animal enclosure, spanning 4 world continents. Refreshments and a VIP tour unleash a discovery to some of the world’s most exotic and endangered species, covering mammals, reptiles, Birds of Prey and Big cats.

Armed with the park’s well-designed menu of a map we become entrenched in this magical kingdom renowned for experience overload, which as a conservation and education led zoo lends itself well to an array of visitors from families and schools to photographers, volunteers, even weddings.

Animal Park kick-starts our escorted VIP tour with an interactive up close and personal animal experience of a hand-reared wallaby, whom abandoned by his mother has been rescued and nurtured by a notable group of experienced staff, including local and international vets, rangers, zoo keepers and volunteers.

The Animal Nutrition Department, careertraveller favourite, is an inspirational resource centre bursting with knowledge and facts underpinning animal welfare, conservation and breeding. Surrounded by an Animal Nursery and Incubation Room, Veterinary and Animal Welfare Room and Animal Records Department, we gain a hands- on insight to the daily running of a wildlife park and educational context of endangered species. Amazing!

A wander through Lorikeet Landing provides an exotic walkway to the Birds of Paradise, who in between mutterings of “hello”, “what’s your name”, reveals a vibrant display of Parrots, African Greys, Harris Hawks, Love Birds, Crows and “Stella”, an 11 year old rescued Eurasian Eagle Owl.

Our multi-coloured journey continues along the elevated wooden Tiger Treetops, an imaginative trail offering stunning panoramic feline views of cheetahs, snow leopards, white lions and tigers. It is here we stop and really appreciate the charity Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF), which established by Paradise Wildlife Park, has founded the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, home to some of the world’s most endangered Big Cats. Marvellous, evolution at it’s best!

Temporarily bypassing Bunny Town we fondly observe the guinea pigs and Farmyard animals that snort with glee amongst the little ‘uns’, offering treasure in the form of carrot feed pots; demonstrating Paradise think of everything!

Whilst the camels and reindeer fascinate us with their humps and hooves, it is the tapirs that truly impress with their horse and rhinoceros- like appearance! From the Reptile Temple to Bat House we unearth an abundance of fascinating creatures that wow, shock and delight in a variety of intriguing locations, depicting wildlife at it’s best.

Rainforest is a tropical undercover encounter of Marmosets, Tamarins and squirrel monkeys who dazzle us with their acrobatics and human like expressions. Our ranger Connor is a walking wildlife encyclopaedia, who ramps up the tour by bringing us a Three Banded Armadillo from beneath the branch of a hanging sloth. Prehistoric- like in it’s armoured shell, this South American creature reveals only its claws and five toed hind feet as it wraps itself into a ball of protection, exposing the wonders of nature!

Grapes abounding, rests the secret to our final animal encounter, which arrives in the form of an enchanting Ring-tailed Lemur enclosure that delivers a delightful Madagascan primate circus of trapeze gymnastics. Up close we experience their humanoid features and feel privileged by this demonstration of human evolution. Priceless!

The day is not over without a ride on the Woodland Railway, a play in Pirates Cove at Adventure Land and visit to the National Speedway Museum, where the owner of Paradise Wildlife Park, Peter Sampson, displays his speedway accomplishments and passion. Marvellous!

One final glimpse of the Park’s fashionable family Zebra Suite and Tiger/Leopard Apartments reinforces this special part of Hertfordshire is an ever-growing paradise full of treats, fun and unique hospitality, inherited from the genuine love and respect for animal welfare.

A very special thanks to Paradise Wildlife Park for sponsoring this post and giving us an insightful introduction to wildlife conservation through a variety of heartfelt animal experiences.

Further details of the Park and unique animal experiences can be found on their website.

Information of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent can be found by clicking on the following link.

Additional information on tourist attractions, activities and accommodation in Hertfordshire can be found on the Enjoy! Hertfordshire website.

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