Sunday, 7 June 2015

Are those cats wild? Wild, they're absolutely livid!!

For my birthday Judith bought me a photo experience day run by Jessops. It was run at a place called the Cat Survival Trust near Welwyn (http://www.catsurvivaltrust.org/). I'd never heard of it before and you wouldn't know it was there. It's on the edge of the town behind a farmshop. It was started about 30 years ago with the intention of running almost a studbook or exchange centre for zoos. Basically they take in and breed endangered cats and "loan" them to zoos removing the need for them to source new stock from the wild. Take your own view about whether it works but the guy who runs it is a bit evangelical about it and about climate change and the animals themselves seem to be well looked after, albeit in small enclosures for animals like these.
The day is run by a team of 3 from Jessops with the intention of getting you to get more from your camera. If you are new to DSLR's then it would be very good. If you are reasonably experienced then you wont get much from it. It is probably a cause worth supporting though and the Jessop's team were very helpful and pleasant throughout.
The day from my pov was therefore spent lurking around outside the enclosures. You get VERY close to the cats.
 
They had snow and amur leopards, puma, jaguar and servals all showing themselves. A lynx was there but sat in a corner and a clouded leopard was not seen. They have a few smaller cats but the weather was hot and they didn't show at all.
I'll post some of the better photos. All in all it was an interesting day and you can see the logic to what they are doing there. If you want to get some close-ups of big cats it may be worth a trip - you can visit but have to join first mainly I suspect for health and safety reasons!!













As well as the cats they do have a few owls as well, which they are branching out into. These two were quite good fun!!