A Conversation for Great Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Fota Wildlife Park, Co Cork, Ireland

Post 1

Mr. Legion

The park is situated a little way outside Cobh, a nice if rather touristy port village. As a wildlife park, the animals aren't kept in cages but housed in something approaching their natural habitat (well, giraffes don't usually live in windy fields in the northern hemisphere, but they do their best). The park has a wide range of animals: as well as the aforementioned giraffes, there are cheetahs, capybaras, eagles, grey squirrels, deer, ring-tailed lemurs, scimitar-horned oryxes, Grant's gazelles, buffaloes, emus, penguins, wallabies, uncountable species of birds, a couple of monkey islands and a veritable ark of others. Many of the animals roam free around the park and bother you while you're having your lunch - lemurs are particularly persistent, while emus have been known to take an interest in the guest's property, especially cameras. One fun game for the young 'uns: tell them that if they stick their fingers in between the links of the cheetah fence, a cheetah will be able to be at the fence and bite the fingers off before the child can pull them out. Watch their little eyes light up with fascinated horror! Ah, memories...

The park also has a café, the inevitable gift-shop, a small fun-park and a little train that does a circuit of the area. One caveat; if you park your car in the carpark beneath the trees, be prepared to find it with an exciting new colour scheme (consisting of white streaks) upon you return. Attached to the wildlife park is an arboretum which is well worth a visit of itself; it's beautifully laid out, containing trees and plants from all over the world including some truly massive redwoods. One of the great things about the park is the ability of the non-threatening animals to go pretty much where they like; you may be walking down a little path when a wallaby hops out in front of you, although you're more likely to find them sunbathing outside the café. On several occasions monkeys and lemurs have actually escaped from Alcatraz and pestered the local farmers before being taken down in a hail of tranquilizer darts. Altogether, a class act, a great family day out and a rather interesting place to live next to.

Fota Wildlife Park, Co Cork, Ireland

Post 2


Great writeup, Mr. Legion : I can't really add any more to that, except to remind people to bring change for the car parks. I got caught a few months ago after a trip to the arboretum, and it was rather embarrassing having to ask people for change smiley - blush.

I would second everything you say - if you are visiting Cork, Fota is definitely a place to visit while there.

smiley - peacedoveWoodpigeon

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Fota Wildlife Park, Co Cork, Ireland

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