Longleat Safari Park
|Longleat Safari Park|
|Longleat Safari Park shown within Wiltshire|
|Area||9,000 acres (36.42 km2)|
Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, in Wiltshire, England was opened in 1966 and was the first drive-through safari park outside Africa. The park is situated in the grounds of Longleat House, an English stately home that attracts tourists and is the current home of the 7th Marquess of Bath. The safari park was the first of its kind anywhere in the world and was considered to be a massive breakthrough in the way in which captive animals were kept, with the animals roaming freely and the visitors in cages (cars). Longleat Safari Park and the concept of safari parks were the brainchild of Jimmy Chipperfield (1912–1990), former co-director of Chipperfield's Circus.
Today Longleat's collection comprises over 500 animals, and the whole estate is situated on 9,000 acres (36.42 km2) of Wiltshire countryside.
The Safari Parks Reserves
- Wallaby Wood : Red-necked wallaby with Pygmy Goats, Warthogs, African Spurred Tortoises and Brazilian Tapirs nearby. It is possible to get out of the car and view this section on foot.
- The East African Game Reserve: Rothschild Giraffe, Grant's Zebra, Llama, Dromedary Camel, Helmeted Guineafowl and Nyala.
- Flamingo Valley: Chilean Flamingo, Sacred Ibis, Whistling Duck, Spoonbill and Wood duck.
- Vulture Venue: 5 pairs of African vultures and Grey Crowned Cranes.
- Monkey Jungle: Rhesus Macaques and Blackbuck.
- Big Game Park: Scimitar-Horned Oryx, Ankole Cattle, Southern White Rhino, Blue Wildebeest, Ostrich, Bactrian Camel and Pere David's Deer.
- The Elephants: – Anne the Asian elephant currently resides at the park, and Longleat currently has ambitions to create a sanctuary for other mistreated elephants across Europe. Only a small portion of the sanctuary will be visible to the public, for the animals' welfare
- Pelican Pond and Surrounding Area: Pink-backed Pelican, Common Eland and Eastern Bongo.
- Deer Park: Red Deer and Fallow Deer
- Tiger Territory: 4 Amur Tigers
- Lion Country (section 1): African Lion, (section 2): African Lion
- Cheetah Kingdom: 6 Cheetah's
- Wolf Wood: Canadian Timber Wolf
- Half Mile Lake: Common Hippopotamus, California Sea Lion, Eastern Great White Pelican
- Gorilla Island (situated in Half Mile Lake): Western lowland Gorilla
The estate is open to the public with the various attractions being individually priced. A 'passport' ticket providing one admission to each attraction is available at a discount.
The Jungle Cruise involves taking a short trip around the park's lake, which houses a large family of sea lions, the dominant male of which is called Buster, and a pair of hippos. The central island is home to the parks only silverback gorilla, the legendary Nico. Aboard, it is possible for £1.00 to receive a cup of fish pieces to throw to the sea lions, who naturally follow the boat and bark for food.
This attraction opened in 2011 and is the first step in a long redevelopment programme of the park as set out by new CEO David Bradley. The first section is within the former Pets Corner area, and includes walk-through exhibits for meerkats and chipmunks (the former is the first of its kind in the UK) along with themed enclosures for otters, binturong, coatis, porcupines, giant anteaters and mara. The second section built between Jungle Kingdom and Animal Adventure includes the Monkey Temple which allows marmosets to run free around the visitors from mock temple ruins, and the lorikeet feeding station where visitors can buy pots of nectar to feed to Rainbow Lorikeets in a walk-through aviary. Otters and barn owls can also be found in this area.
Containing many animals previously kept in Pets Corner, there are many exotic and familiar mammals, birds, reptiles and insects on display, including Macaws, Rabbits, Tortoises, Iguanas, Kune Kune Pigs, Armadillos, Siberian Weasels, Rock Hyrax and many more. A walk-through butterfly hot house and handling areas for small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates allow visitors to gain direct contact with the animals.
In the media
Roar is about the animals and keepers at Wild Animal Parks. It is similar to anther BBC series, Animal Park, filmed at Longleat Safari Park. From series 6, it has moved from Howletts and Port Lympne to Longleat.
Andy's Wild Adventures
The BBC’s Natural History Unit has started shooting a brand new Children’s TV series at Imagist Studios in Bristol called ” Andy’s Wild Adventures." Hosted by popular CBeebies presenter, Andy Day, the series is an exciting blend of natural history / entertainment for 4 -7-year olds. Andy is a busy ranger at Pickle’s Animal Park and every day after he’s finished his rounds he heads to his workshop for a tea break with his friend Kip the cat. There are certain things that Andy can’t show us in the Park, so he and Kip climb onboard their amazing Kip Mobile and head off on some incredible wild adventures, to see the animals for real.
The 40 x 15-minute episodes will utilise the extensive BBC Natural History archive with Andy filmed in front of Imagist Studio’s huge green screen. Andy will then be composited into each scene in post-production, so that it looks as if he really is coming face to face with wild animals in their natural habitats. From elephants in Africa, to penguins in Antarctica, And'ís adventures will be beyond even his wildest dreams. The production crew will be filming the exterior workshop and animal park scenes on location at Longleat Safari Park. The series first aired in January 2012 running for 40 episodes through the year.
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