Hi there, what a week its been, Mcfee had some pretty invasive hospital tests done on Friday, so booked the weekend off work to recuperate, plus his normal days off and the weather has been perfect to round of his birthday celebrations.
We’ve been out and about trialling his new DSLR camera.
Purchased in honour of his big day, so far it has proved a worthy investment, some of his pictures have been really quite impressive, (to the point of not wanting to read any technical info incase it sucks the joy out of it).
The Isle of wight Zoo
Really wish we’d had the camera last week when we were on the Isle of Wight
We’d visited the Zoo, located in an old fort in Sandown, hisorically it played a part in the fuel supply for the troops in Europe after the D Day landings more information about this here .
The lions and tigers were quite playful and active in comparison to earlier visits when they were contentedly snoozing and absorbing the suns rays.
Isle of Wight Zoo is a 40 year old family owned Conservation zoo part of The Wildheart Trust and committed to providing a “life long, loving home to rescued big cats” and other animals.
As the Zoo now has a charitable status, if you are a UK tax payer you can include gift aid when you pay your admission fee, “Mcfee and Me” thought this was worthwhile to do, as we love to visit the place and hear about the work they do, and pay what we can spare. It’s not a compulsory donation, but a big plus is the UK government will also provide a donation along side yours, so the zoo gets more in the long run.
Some of their rescued animals have been ill-treated in their previous encounters, it is clear to see though, the bond that the keepers have made with them, in their new retirement home.
We saw a huge tiger bounding playfully down the grass slopes in his enclosure to greet one of the keepers who proceeded to give him a scratch with a scrubbing-brush!
Being a comparatively small Zoo the friendly keepers and staff are part of the whole experience and very knowledgable about the animals in their care. You can ask them anything, they don’t bite.
We paid a little extra to experience the Meerkat feeding encounterThe Meerkats, 5 in total, actually line up waiting for it, they were so cute to see. Even if you don’t want to pay for the encounter you get a pretty great experience just watching, (I watched Mcfee from the sidelines last year and got some great photos)
You go into a special enclosure and sit on the ground while a keeper puts something live and wriggly (no I didn’t ask) on different parts of your body, the Meerkats scamper all over you,
Isle of Wight Zoo
I was wearing a baseball cap so didn’t mind having the worm things on my head (that may be a lie), the keepers are considerate though and do check your ok with everything that happens.
One of the other keepers helpfully took photos of us with our camera phones although the expression on my face is mostly horror at the wriggly worm things, but it was a fantastic experience on the whole, the Meerkats are so inquisitive and funny, they are as light as a kitten and they didn’t smell (bonus).
Mealtime took around 15 minutes and when the Meerkats were carefully shepherded home we were joined by a fat Robin Cedric, who helpfully cleaned up any leftover wormy things.
If you get the chance to do anything similar, my recommendation would be, long sleeves and trousers, don’t wear your very best clothes (Meerkats have very dusty feet) and shake your hats and jackets off before going home, unless like us you want to spend the evening picking horrible wriggly worms of the B & B floor.
Meerkat Food YUK!!!
So, all in all it’s been a great week!
We’ve both been in bed by 10pm most nights, tired but happy, and met some really nice people, (and animals).
I do hope your week has been a good one. Bye for now,