Colchester Zoo a must visit and adorable amur leopard cubs
For any families or wildlife lovers looking for days out to do in Colchester I can thoroughly recommend Colchester Zoo, they have a great variety of animals that you can see up close from big cats to Smooth Coated Otters, Fennec Foxes and a walk through enclosure with some of my favourite animals from Australia Rainbow Lorikeets and Wallabies. Each exhibit is next to each other so there is always something different to see while you are wandering around. If you would like a more personal experience you can take part in daily feeding sessions with elephants and giraffes. Their zoo has also been listed as the 11th best zoo in the world and in the top 2 zoos in the UK as part of Tripadvisor's Traveller's Choice Attractions. If you are a family visiting there is a good selection of children's play and activity areas and eating places such as sprint speed, Pizza and Pasta Restaurant, The Southern Kitchen and Meerkat Hangout.
2019 has been a exciting year for Colchester Zoo, they had Smooth Coated Otter Pups, Amur Tiger Cubs and Esra gave birth to her Amur Leopard Cubs Lena and Luka. My days out to Colchester Zoo this year have been some of my favourites for wildlife photography. I really enjoyed watching the Otter Pups and Tiger Cubs who were so playful and a joy to spend time with.
The Smooth Coated Otter Pups were born to Chea and Kong Kea in June 2019. The parents of the pups have been living at the zoo since October 2010. These otters have have thick and velvety fur which is in two layers, the guard fur keeps the underfur dry underwater to help the otters retain body heat. Smooth Coated Otters are listed as a vulnerable on the IUCN red list so the Otter Pups are part of the breeding programme and will hopefully help the species.
In June their beautiful tigress Taiga gave birth to her cubs Pasha, Mischa and Tatana, their names are Russian as Amur Tigers are orginally from far east region of Russia. Taiga is 4 years old and moved to the zoo in February 2017. On the 9th of September 2019 Lena and Leka were born to mum Esra and dad Crispin, they are Esra's first cubs and Colchester Zoo's first Amur Leopard Cubs. I fell in love with the Amur Leopard Family during my visit to them in November when the cubs were 3 months old. The Amur Leopard is the world's most endangered big cats, it is estimated there are about 120 left which is very sad and shocking.
Action for the Wild
Colchester Zoo's charity Action for the Wild funds conservation projects around the world which will hopefully help to give animals a chance and some hope for the future. One of their projects Wildlife Vets International provides veterinary and scientific support and training that involves clinical services, on site training, disease investigation and research activities for wild tigers and leopards. Russia have approved a reintroduction plan, they hope to introduce captive bred Amur Leopards to the wild. For more details please visit their website https://www.actionforthewild.
For anyone travelling by public transport, you can get a direct train from London Liverpool Street to Colchester. From Colchester bus station you can get the 75 bus and the journey is only 15 minutes https://www.colchester-zoo.com
Below are some of my favourite photos. Several of my leopard cub images are available to purchase as prints from my Etsy Shop, a percentage of profits are donated between two of my favourite wildlife conservation charities Action for the Wild and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NatashaBalletta?ref=seller-platform-mcnav§ion_id=21809596
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