Thank you so much for all the well wishes this past couple of weeks – my hip surgery went well and, despite an unfortunate early hiccup when I discovered my body doesn’t tolerate morphine, my recovery is coming on just fine.
I saved up a couple of visits to share with you when I had the time, so here are the photographs from one of the few day trips we managed to make last year against the backdrop of lockdowns and fear of public gatherings – a really lovely day out at the Highland Wildlife Park, near Aviemore in Scotland, about 50 miles from home.
The park is a wonderful conservation success story, and last summer the big draw was the two Amur tiger cubs. They did, of course, stay too far away for me to get a photograph, but we did see them.
Here is mother – she was less shy.
One of the other stars of the park is Victoria, the polar bear. She successfully raised a cub, Hamish, in 2017, and gave birth to her latest, Brodie, in December 2021. We will be going back to see him soon!
Of course we have the local beasties too…
One of the biggest attractions of the park is the drive-through trail, set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cairngorm mountains.
Another of the park’s success stories – a breeding herd of Przewalski’s horses. This cute foal was a very confident soul.
And this Vicuna was simply a poser!
The deer were finding the day rather warm
But the geese seemed quite happy
Out of the car again. there was plenty left to see: a pair of elderly arctic foxes
This awesome snow leopard let us watch her have her lunch
These fabulous curly-horned goats
And, of course, another of the park’s famous denizens – the wolves!
Another native, but elusive, Scot
Some were harder to spot: this European Lynx had a lovely vantage point, draped across the sun-warmed rocks
And the most fun we had, watching a keeper bury this wolverine’s meal to give him a bit of a challenge!
Though it didn’t take him long to get it
You might understand why, when you get a close-up of those claws…
Well that’s just a selection of the critters at the park that decided to make themselves photo-worthy this trip. Plenty more for another day…
Just the one more – how about this for a unique set of horns?