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Outings with Lenses 1

On Saturday, we went to Dartmoor Zoo.  
Dartmoor Zoo is a little pocket-sized zoo started by a nutter in the days when zoo legislation was somewhat laxer.  A few years ago, the nutter was becoming elderly and so was the zoo, so he decided to sell it.  

Another chap, (barely saner), bought it, and is now attempting with enormous energy and verve, and not really enough money, to bring it up to 21st century standards.   The animal care I think is actually pretty good - they have always had big enclosures for the large predators, and they seem to be putting a load of work into environmental enrichment and keeping things clean and safe for the beasts. But some of the animals are rather old and quirky, and so is the plumbing and decor.  I quite like that they are clearly putting the conditions for the animals in front of things like new loos for the visitors :-D 

I took my 75mm lens with me.  This was just the lens for the job, although the light was quite dim. 

Youngish wolf: 

Very very old wonky wolf.  I kind of wanted to bring this wolf a squashy bed by the fire... 

We saw the tigers fed.  They were fed on chunks of Dartmoor pony.  Gulp. 

According to the sign, Fudge is 'thought to be a Syrian brown bear'. I get the impression she's quite an old bear and nobody really knows where they got her...  She doesn't look much like the photo on the Wikipedia page, I must say, but presumably the zoo has more reputable sources than that.

I was tempted to post this last one in the middle of a bunch of other walk photos as seen on the moor.  The cheetah's enclosure is basically a big hill with a moat and walls around the outside. 



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
1st Feb, 2012 21:10 (UTC)
Dartmoor pony?? Eek! Do they randomly go out and shoot the beggars or something? Or are they helpfully culled??
1st Feb, 2012 22:04 (UTC)
They get culled. They breed pretty much as nature suggests, and the land isn't really well adapted to carry the number of horses that want to live on it. Good for tigers, not so good for ponies :-(
2nd Feb, 2012 18:02 (UTC)
Yikes! Poor liddle things... Hopefully they'll be weeding out the skewbald & piebald ones, cos they're not REAL Dartmoor colours.

Back in my day, the unwanted foals got sold on as useful riding ponies. I had a great partnership with a diminutive & very fast creature named Swift when I was a small thing - she was allegedly a Dartmoor. Now our native ponies get neglected & everyone wants these piebald costermonger monstrosities - just like Diva...
2nd Feb, 2012 18:40 (UTC)
I believe they do still sell them, and the true Dartmoors I understand there is still some market for. But there are plenty of 'piebald monstrosities' (the tigers were eating something with brown and white patches...)

Where I have just been for a walk this evening there are a lot of shetland ponies roaming, very small and almost all pregnant, as they are every year... I'm guessing that there may not be much demand for those as riding ponies, they are tiny!
2nd Feb, 2012 18:55 (UTC)
OMG!! It actually still LOOKED like a pony???!! Aargh!! [Runs away to throw up...]

Poor little shetlands. What a dismal fate for the wee things...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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