Having visited last Valentines Day, we made a return visit to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster at the weekend. We really enjoyed it last time, but our visit was cut short when the weather turned. Saturday was a cold but dry day, so we headed over for another visit.
Getting there was a little easier this time, thanks to the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way. This links the M18 – the motorway that bypasses Doncaster to the south – with the A638, the road that feeds the wildlife park and nearby Robin Hood Airport. A second phase, due to start construction shortly, will see the road make it all of the way to the airport. But even the first phase cut our travelling time by at least 10 minutes each way.
The main attraction that we missed last time was the lions, so we went there first. The lions were rescued from a run-down zoo in Romania, and flown to the UK on a specially-adapted Jet2 plane. Their new enclosure is as big as the whole of the zoo that they called their home previously. Indeed, one thing I like about the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is that the enclosures are big, and designed so that visitors can see in over the fencing in many cases. On both visits, my Canon EOS 600D DSLR camera has seemed almost amateur compared to some of the specialist photography kit that other visitors have brought, and it’s easy to see why.
We also got to see one of the leopards; last time, none of them fancied making an appearance. And we saw a stoat – not one of the zoo’s animals, but it was on an area of rough ground near the polar bears that has yet to be developed.