Shepreth: The animal park full of secret surprises and unexpected elements – Amy Jones
Driving to Shepreth Wildlife Park was easy as my satellite navigation instructions took me straight to the entrance, but it was in an area where I didn’t expect to find an animal park.
Just off a quiet road ahead of me I see the large illuminated signs directing me to Shepreth Animal Park, descending the small track which I am then greeted with iron gates, the main entrance to the park.
Parking is easy and close to the park, I arrive just in time for the park to open at 10 a.m. everyday to the public.
Read more: What to do in Cambridgeshire
There were already families with young children lining up outside the door waiting to be let in. It was a Tuesday morning so I can only imagine how busy it can be on a weekend.
A friendly welcome
Arriving to capture content for our Facebook Live feed, I am greeted by one of the friendly zookeepers, Alice.
Filling myself with information, excitement, and facts as we stroll through the park, I can’t help but wonder what a job it must be to be a zookeeper.
All of the zookeepers I met during my time at the park were all happy to help and talk about all the wonderful animals they had in the park.
They even offer ‘keeper conversations’ throughout the day, talking more about the animals and the possibility of seeing otters or meerkats during mealtime.
When I first arrived at the animal park I was not sure how big it was, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of animals and the excellent condition they were all in.
Meet the animals
I am introduced to some of the animals including cotis (not the same as the coyote) and capybaras which must be one of my favorite animals at the park, they even had a few baby capybaras to admire as they leisurely enjoyed of the sun with which we have been blessed.
Moving on to larger animals, I discover a donkey, alpacas, a maned wolf and two tigers who were mother and daughter.
We had arranged to meet aardvarks to be the stars of the show. Before the meeting I wasn’t quite sure what or how they would be, but they were amazing.
Not only do they have the cutest noses and ears, but they are also curious and friendly.
Alice fed the Aardvarks, who were only too happy to wake up from their naps for some attention and food.
After they finished eating and a bit of exploring after these humans entered their house, the three of them curled up together, the three of them in a little “hug” as zookeeper Alice put it. It was one of the cutest displays of affection I have ever seen.
Shepreth offers these and other animal experiences for people who want to feed on or get close to aardvarks.
It is offered to those 14 or older due to the size of the aardvarks, but I would definitely recommend experimenting and pre-booking it before your visit if you can.
As you walk around you will even find a grave, which may sound morbid, but it’s actually the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a zoo as it’s a memorial to the animals that have died, including their names.
Speaking of names, what I really enjoyed about walking around with a zookeeper was their ability to grab the animal’s attention by calling out their names.
Other animals in the park included monkeys, otters, birds, turtles, red pandas, lemurs, meerkats, and owls.
Facilities in Shepreth
Along with all the animals in the park, there’s a small on-site cafe with light snacks, an outdoor children’s play area that’s currently under construction, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun with a pirate ship included.
If you bring your own picnic, there are plenty of picnic tables and spaces to enjoy food in the open air, letting you choose whether you want to eat near the tigers or the monkeys.
Fortunately, during my visit we were lucky to have some sun but we know UK weather can be unpredictable which is why the park has indoor food areas to enjoy your own picnic.
The park has maps everywhere so you don’t get lost or miss any of the animals you want to visit during your day.
Surroundings and grounds
The park itself was built on beautiful grounds with lots of trees and natural features surrounding it.
There is even a small lemur island where they jump on a pontoon to get there, another added feature included in the park.
On top of that there is an area with a wide range of dinosaurs for the kids to admire, a bit haphazardly in an animal park but still fun and there are a few dinosaur benches to enjoy your picnic. -nique.
If you are looking for a smaller wildlife park that offers a mix of animals, which live in good conditions and a place to spend a few hours, this is the place.
It’s not the biggest park so I would suggest spending just a few hours for your visit, but once you’re inside you stumble upon more than you might notice at first.
If you are planning to visit the park, I would recommend that you check out the latest experiences they have to offer.
Their experiences include one of their friendly staff who tells you all there is to know about animals and gives you hands-on experience with them.
All in all, I would recommend a visit to Shepreth Wildlife Park, it might not be the biggest, but it has everything you could want for a family morning, plus the animals and staff make it even better.
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