With the spur of the moment and being 1h drive away not 2h we decided to visit the Highland wildlife Park.
Breakfast, pack, book tickets online and go. And here we are at the gates of the Highland Wildlife Park.
We started walking round in the pilar bear direction, the cub and his mum entertained us playing ball in the water on a hot day. We seen a nosy arctic fox, ate some raspberries from the bushes growing next to the path. Heared the amur tiger so ventured that way and spotted one hiding behind a tree. The kids were well impressed. Beautiful big cat.
We slowly climbed the hill in the snow leopard enclousure direction but there was nothing to see, they were hiding. No luck! We walked further around, spotted bisons, horses, deer, goats and lots of birds. We did the whole loop checking all the enclosures.
We approached the snow leopard enclousure from the bottom, as their area is on some cliffs to make it as natural to them as possible. There it was, a beautiful male sitting on the ledge above us wriggling his tail. It was hard to take photos as he was a fair bit away.
We continued our trip and walked to see the owl, moose and wolfs. On the way back we decided to quickly split as we heared on the radio of one of the park workers there is something happening near the the snow leopard enclosure. Ashley with the kids went to check out the wild cats enclosure near the car park. I ran to the car, dropped our bags and started running towards the bottom part of the snow leopard enclosure. No luck. One last chance was to run to the top. My legs were a bit tired from the hill race I did the day before. I got to the enclosure at the top and spotted people gathering around.
There they are. 2 adult Snow Leopards. Male was kept outside on the cliff side while the female and its cubbs in the enclosure at the top. Suddenly the female moved towards the den.. and 2 little snow leopards ran out followed by a 3rd on few min later. They are 9 weeks old and absolutely adorable! Female slowly moved to the opposite male enclosure taking the cubbs with her. 2 of them got lost on the way and stayed behind the fence. No problem mum leopard got them eventually as the little ones couldnt work it out how to get through the opened gate.
I quickly ran down near the carpark to find Ashley and our cubbs but little Freya wanted to see her monkeys. We walked around the amur tiger encloaure again and spotted one closer to the view point. Eventually we got to the monkey enclosure. All the monkeys were at the viewing point near the viewing window. We all enjoyed looking at them and the few week, month old baby monkeys.
Coffee for me and an ice cream for the children. Visit at the gift shop and final excitement of the day out was ahead of us.
Before we left we went on a car tour around the main park area. We were really lucky as all the animals were at the road. We had few close encounters with a beautiful silver stag, Przewalski horse that tried to eat my silver trim from around the window and sticking his head into the car, bison walking right next to the car giving way to some stubborn geese and spotting a rabbit and a hare. It was a very spcial day.
Maybe you will ask why this blogs title is all about the Snow Leopards when there is so many beautiful animals in the Highland Wildlife Park?
Dynafit has a Snow Leopard as its logo and once a year they organise a Snow Leopard day challenge to climb as many meters as possible for a great cause. They are donating to the Snow Leopard Trust and helping protect these beautiful animals. There is around 5000 of these beautiful cats left in the wild.