A Tour of Norfolk's Zoos

 A feature from the July 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life magazine
Suffolk Norfolk Life July 2016Click to view this issue »
Nature, Places
Africa Alive

Visit Africa Alive, near Great Yarmouth, and you’ll see fantastic exotic animals including buffalo, antelopes, wild ass, and lions, all lazing in the sunshine. Giraffes peer down from their enclosure, and small monkeys run towards you, keen to see if you have food! I visited the zoo, with my husband Vic, last summer and saw a fantastic collection of species.

The nyala antelopes were breeding, producing cute little offspring that looked like Bambi. And the walk-through ‘Lemur Encounters’ didn’t disappoint: there’s a strict rule that you mustn’t touch the lemurs, but that doesn’t stop the lemurs from touching you! Just as I was trying to photograph one lemur, another one jumped on my back. One landed on a child’s head, startling the infant, before concluding its journey onto the back of a goat.

Banham Zoo

Our next stop was Banham Zoo, and we arrived in time for the otter feed. A large crowd was gathered around the otters, who were busily eating carrots and grapes. In an adjacent enclosure, the meerkats were fighting over their tomatoes but showed no interest in their raw broccoli florets. They were just like fussy children!

Prairie dogs were running about in a nearby field, with their babies peering nervously out of their burrows. The digging had caused numerous small holes and mounds on the landscape. They’re funny little creatures, who were accompanied in their enclosure by deer and geese.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Our final destination was Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens near Great Yarmouth. There’s a large collection of birds there, including storks, cockatoos, owls, pheasants, wetland birds and a huge walk-through aviary. One of the cockatoos seemed particularly friendly and tried to nibble Vic’s camera.

There’s a reptile house, with a collection of snakes, lizards, alligators and otters. It also houses rodents, including hamsters, chipmunks, and Prevost’s squirrels.

Read the full article in the July 2016 issue of Suffolk Norfolk Life Magazine
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