Monday, 8 August 2016

Aug 7th Banham Zoo

Cotton-top Tamarin
Places of conservation and educational importance or confined prisons for animals, zoos will always divide opinions. For me, zoos have had a big impact on my life. It has played a part in shaping my interest in wildlife during my childhood. I was never able to travel around the world to see tigers, penguins, etc. But thanks to zoos, it was the next best thing. Today, I went out on a family get together to the one zoo that I've visited the most throughout my life; Banham Zoo.


Red-crested Turaco
Imperial Dove
Superb Starling
Swainson's Parakeet
Sun Conure
Helmeted Curassow

Banham Zoo is not the biggest zoo in the world, but it has been an important place to me. It has changed so much since I was a kid. The exhibits have improved considerably in my lifetime and the zoo is still being reshaped for new exhibits. New species are being added nearly every time that I've visited. While growing up, I have seen the zoo add tigers, giraffes, snow leopards and Gelada baboons, replacing chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys and a few other things. It is also a great place to play with my camera with the added challenge of getting the perfect shot through wire meshed cages and reflective glass.

Red Kangaroo

Scarlet Ibis
Bactrian Camel
Gr√©vy's Zebra
Maned Wolf
Snake (forgotten which species)
Gelada Baboon
Red Panda


Prairie Dog
Dwarf Mongoose
Griffon Vulture
My favourite part of the zoo is its bird of prey displays. There is nothing better than having several griffon vultures fly above your head. Unfortunately, they weren't part of this morning's display. Instead, we were shown Galah parrots, a pair of hooded vultures, a European eagle owl and a bald eagle.

Galah Parrots

Hooded Vulture

European Eagle Owl
Bald Eagle
Ural Owl sunbathing

Rufous-legged Owl
Barn Owl

European Eagle Owl

Great Grey Owl
Snowy Owl
Snow Leopard
 Though Banham has no lions, elephants or large apes, it still has a good selection of other big cats and primates as well as a wide range of birds to draw the visitors in. The big cats are the main highlights here which include tigers, cheetahs, snow leopards and Sri Lankan leopards, all very beautiful yet endangered animals.

Sri Lankan Leopard
Linne's Two-toed Sloth
I am glad to see so many changes at the zoo in recent years including the 'Eureka!' building, a walkthrough hot house full of tropical plants and free roaming butterflies and birds as well as a few enclosed exhibits along the way. There was even a Linne's two-toed sloth 'roaming' free inside the building which excited a lot of people, though it wasn't until the keepers had to lure it from behind a girder to its bed as the zoo was preparing for closing time. It was the first time I've seen a sloth move at quite a pace! I am also impressed in what they have done with the new penguin enclosure. It too is now a walkthrough space, a complete improvement to what it was previously. I've also noticed changes with the prairie dog enclosure and that they will be building new enclosures for the fur seals and the flamingos. I expect the next time I am here, I will not recognize the place.

Sun Bittern
Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Egyptian Fruit Bat
Senegal Turaco
Hottentot Teal
Some kind of tropical butterfly
African Black-footed penguin

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