In my Beautiful Bluestone review I mentioned that we took a trip to Anna’s Welsh Zoo on the only day that the weather was going to be kind enough. So here’s what happened after we filled ourselves up with a nice cooked breakfast (the works-yum!), and made our way to the zoo.
When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely Sam (who I had spoken to the previous week to arrange our visit), and she explained about the talks that were available throughout the afternoon, gave us some wallaby food and handed us the map and all the details we needed. We were pointed in the direction of the wallaby enclosure and off we went.
We had walked through a secure double gate system and had taken a few steps, when the loveliest albino wallaby spotted us and hopped straight over. We have never encountered wallabies in the wild or a zoo before, and the fact that they weren’t behind a fence and we could get up close is quite a special thing. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about them as I can be a bit of a wimp around animals, a recent development for me, but this albino wallaby was so friendly, that I felt at ease straight away, the children weren’t bothered by him (or her!) at all, so we all fed this new friend and gave him a little pat on the head. I think we may have over done it a little as he started letting off wind at one point, for which I got the blame! He will forever be know to us as “Mr Farty Pants” to us! Excuse the toilet humour, parents of small children will understand… We also spotted a very wriggly little tummy on one of the wallabies and it was a lovely opportunity to explain all about how wallabies carry their babies around in their pouche.
Once we’d finished feeding the wallabies we headed over to what we thought was going to be the lemur talk, I was sure I knew where it was, I had been given all the information and am an intelligent human being right? Wrong… I saw ‘Lemurs’ on the map, in ‘Valley of the Apes’ and assumed that’s where the lemur talk was, it turned out to be in the Lemur Walkthrough of course, and we missed it. Completely my fault, the information I was given was clear and told us where and when the talk was, it was me not reading clear information and making my own assumptions. Lesson learnt!
We did get to see the gibbons in the ‘Valley of the Apes’ though and it was nice to walk around the island they live on, it was nice and secluded for them, the marmosets were hiding in the warm though and I can’t blame them. I imagine that trail is lovely in the spring/ summer when everything is green, and that was true of the whole zoo, it was all a bit brown and muddy because of the time of year, however this is exactly how the natural environment would be during the winter, so to be expected. The rhino shelter looked like it had taken a bit of battering from the elements as well this winter, but I’m sure this will be sorted when it brightens up. All the animals seemed happy even though it was chilly, and the ones that did need more heat, like the lemurs and meerkats, had their own little heaters to sit under and relax. To my untrained eye all the animals seemed well fed and cared for, and aesthetics come second to this in my books, plus I do like the natural look so I can really appreciate the animals and their environment. There were some lovely snow drops scattered around though, and the odd daffodil was popping up too, hoorah! Plus the girls loved splashing in puddles!
It was wonderful to see the white rhinos that live in Anna’s welsh zoo, from what I have read Anna is very passionate about conserving these wonderful creatures, and the three boys at the zoo (Zamba, Jamba and Zuberi) are the first white rhinos in Wales for 40,000 years! I do hope the efforts being made to help this endangered species are successful. There are around 20,000 white rhino left in the wild, and only 5,000 black rhino according to the WWF, awful.
The other animals that call the zoo home are- zebras, przewalski horses, camels (which always surprise me with their size), ostriches, many birds, goats, llamas, kune kune pigs, a funny looking chicken and a peacock! I’m sure there are others I have forgotten, but there really were many different animals to see, there was even a rather large domestic cat wandering around, who was pretty funny and expected everyone to move out of it’s way, reminded me of Garfield slightly.
As we wandered around the large grounds of the zoo, we discovered a sort of cave walk through, a play ground, a large rhino statue, a dragon stage (made entirely from wood!), bikes and other things for the children to play with outside the manor house on the grass, and a lovely warm cafe. We then decided to stop for a warm drink and I’m glad we did, I have never tasted brownies as glorious as the ones in that cafe, and I will be asking for the recipe! They were well stocked with lots of lovely tea, coffee and cakes and plenty for the children to enjoy as well. The warm log fire was also a nice touch as it was so cold outside.
The weather started turning after a while so we headed to the african village area and enjoyed watching the little meerkats sitting under their heater grooming each other, and the poor little watcher at the top of the log hill, keeping a look out. The goats were having a rest lying around the floor and the funny little chicken that my youngest decided to follow around was pretty entertaining, not sure what she would have done if the tables had turned!
Unfortunately as we walked around the lemur walk through it started to rain, so we didn’t spend much time there, but we briefly saw these lovely animals all cuddled together in the warm spaces they had found. The geese were getting rowdy as well at that point.
Before we left the girls decided that they just had to play in the large sand pit area, even though it was raining, and I imagine this is a favourite spot for many small children.
As it is winter our visit was obviously cold, and it was quiet at the zoo, but I don’t think it spoiled our fun at all, we had a wonderful afternoon there and the girls are planning their next visit already, so we would love to come back again. I would also like to point out that as an anxious Mum it is always nice to see hand washing and “bio security” is taken seriously, to protect the animals and humans alike and Anna’s Welsh Zoo certainly seemed to be very well equip to make sure everyone is safe, excellent!
Thank you to Anna’s Welsh Zoo for inviting us, we will definitely come back next time we’re in Pembrokeshire, and hopefully the weather will be kinder to us all.
Disclaimer- Tickets were provided to us for this review, however all opinions are my own.