Whipsnade Zoo, about 30 miles north of London, is London Zoo's sister site. It is much larger than London Zoo and not so crowded with animals as they have large enclosures. The site itself has great views over the Vale of Aylesbury.
Bison in Europe became extinct in 1919 but were re-introduced from Zoos. They are smaller and now a forest dwelling species unlike the North American bison. Whipsnade even has a baby bison.
There is a group of about 6 chimps at Whipsnade but most of them kept hiding away in the undergrowth when we visited their enclosure.
EUROPEAN BROWN BEAR
These strange animals are about the size of a dog and look like a cross between a rabbit and a wallaby. There are everywhere at Whipsnade.
Mis-named, white Rhino are wide-lipped rhino rather than the beak-lipped black rhino.
Distinctive by its yellow beak.
Membership of the Oryx family can be clearly seen.
These Impala looked smaller than the ones we saw in Kenya but maybe it was an optical illusion.
These hippo were quite shy and just wallowed in their pond.
Their smaller cousins were awake (well some of them were!)
Maybe it was just a morning for relaxing.....
Flamingoes have a different view on life.
These endangered tigers come from the Russian Far East.
A slightly different set of photos !
GREVY'S ZEBRA (with a foal)
Where there are Zebra, Lions are sure to follow....
RED RIVER HOGS
Named because they are red, not after the Red River. Two piglets fight over straw while mum just grazes.
If you become a Keeper for a Day you get to wash the elephants. We were expecting a large pond, so were slightly disappointed to see a hose and a large bucket ! Never mind, they had a baby elephant. As you can see, he was a boy !
These beasts look like they are armour plated with their large folds of hide. With a long gestation period, they only mate every 18 months or so.
An Onager is a species of wild ass. The Romans named a type of ballista after it because of it's fierce kick.
SHORT CLAWED ASIAN OTTER
The Red Pandas are actually not bears like Giant Pandas but closely related to Raccoons. Having watched mum pop her head out to examine the crowd, we were delighted when her baby (lighter colour) popper its head out briefly. Mum continued to look on from above.
At one point greatly endangered, the European Lynx is slowly making a comeback thanks to major conservation efforts. Whipsnade has had a successful breeding programme.
The Wolverine is a fierce and strong predator of the weasel family. It has a deserved reputation for being able to kill prey many times larger than itself. I have read about Wolverines but never seen on, so I was delighted to see two at Whipsnade as they are rarely seen in UK zoos.
EUROPEAN GREY WOLF