I’m in two minds about animals in captivity. I don’t think anyone would disagree that animals are supposed to be in their natural environment and not restricted in any way, however, it’s not that simple. Crucially, and irreversibly, we are where we are! There are animals in captivity already and for the most part, they couldn’t now be released. Also, very importantly, zoos and safari parks do a huge amount of conservation work and research and without paying visitors they wouldn’t be able to do that. Do I wish animals had never been put in cages to start off with, probably yes, but as (some) humans are the animal kingdom’s worst enemy, the least the rest of us can do is try to make some good from the situation in which we find ourselves.
Here’s a few pics of our day anyway. Some areas of the park were closed, not sure why, but it meant we weren’t able to see the lions, cheetahs or monkeys, although I was planning to bypass the monkeys anyway out of kindness to my car!
For the most part these animals had lots of room, at least compared with a zoo. There were two tiger enclosures housing a Sumatran tiger and a White Bengal tiger. I guess it’s not conducive to keeping the Safari Park stocked to have tigers running free where their natural prey is roaming around and not safe for the people driving around, but I did feel uncomfortable seeing these magnificent animals in a cage. They had more space than a zoo but certainly nothing like in the wild. However, this is where the conservation work comes in. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with less than 400 in the wild and no white tigers have been seen in the wild since the 1950s. Hopefully facilities like the Safari Park can protect these fantastic felines from complete extinction.