-All photos taken by my friend Charlie-
As a surprise for my best friends birthday we decided to bundle her into my car and take the 2 hour trip to Chester Zoo, I say 'surprise' when she had supposedly guessed a few days previous when her dad gave a clue! I'd never been to Chester Zoo before and I was totally gobsmacked at how many animals they have there and how big the site is.
The thing that impressed me most was just how much space the animals seemed to have, their enclosures were totally appropriate for the size and activity of the animal, I always struggle with the moral implications of keeping a beautiful majestic animal such as a lion caged up in something no bigger than 50square foot and Zoos have always been a contentious issue for me but I was so impressed with just how well cared for the animals were at Chester and not only that but how great their preservation activities were, most of the profits made at the zoo go straight back into projects around the world helping endangerd species, they've had great success with many of their animals breeding programmes this year and we got to see baby orangutangs, elephants, giraffes and anteaters!
My favourite exhibition was definitely the penguins, I absolutely loved seeing them dart around underwater but an honourable mentions must go to the bat cave where you got to walk INTO the bat enclosure and experience them flying around you and the otters, who were displaying some of the cutest and strangest behaviour I have ever seen by juggling and playing with pebbles! The keeper said it was a really prominent thing with otters and they do it to keep their minds active as well as it just being fun for them! I took a video of if here if you want to watch and have a giggle.