The inspiring story of how Chester Zoo – one of the top 15 zoos on the world – began was the subject of a lovely mini-series called Our Zoo – George Mottershead faced an uphill battle to get it started and it’s grown into an awesome site from nine acres to a sprawling 51 hectares today, and still with room to grow. So when Julie asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, a trip to the north was my wish.
With so much ground to cover and over 9,000 animals to see we even pre-bought our tickets, arrived early and still managed to get stuck in traffic alongside other visitors thinking the same thing. We proceeded to spend a lovely crisp Autumn day racking up the miles to reach all the exhibits, making sure to stop at our personal favourites including the elephants, giraffes, orangutans, meerkats and rhinos.
Just a gibbon and his classy orangutan pal, letting it all hang out
Meerkat mum and far-too-adorable-for-words baby
Rhinos love mud wrestling
I found Nemo!
Seahorse dad with babies on board
Hungry jaguar at lunch time
World’s worst hide-and-seek award goes to…
Rare and gorgeous Rothschild giraffe mum and calf
Check out those…biceps!
The Hi-Way Family – Thi with baby Nandita – Chester Zoo’s Asian Elephants
The soulful man of the forest
Perhaps it was just because it was my birthday but there were even animals in the sky…the Airbus Beluga did a few laps overhead.
The aptly named “Beluga” – looks like Megamind’s kind of ride.
I love a good zoo – and by good I mean the kind that puts animals and their safety first, is passionate about educating people to care about the world outside, a zoo without bars and cages. The philosophy behind George Mottershead’s vision for his zoo started when he was a boy and his passion constantly saw it through some tough times. If he was still around I would want to meet him and thank him. With so much sadness and destruction in the world, a good zoo is always a favourite escape of mine – animals are above humans in my scheme of things – they were here before us and hopefully will be after us. The world belongs to them. I feel lucky I got the chance to spend a day marveling at them…without looking through bars and cages.
“Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”