It’s Valentine’s day, the sun is shining through the curtains onto my sleepy face. I wake up, and remember that it’s my Birthday, and on the actual day, there is nobody around to celebrate it with me. I could wallow in self pity, but instead of spending the day alone, I decide to practice some self-care and spend my day surrounded by animals…
“Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a unique collection of animals from across the world, including Red Pandas, lemurs, reptiles, meerkats, otters, birds, wallabies and a large collection of monkeys. Some of our animals are endangered in the wild and we play an important role their species’ conservation.” [source]
The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park proved to be the perfect place for me to spend my Birthday!
I think I was lucky that my Birthday happened to fall on a Thursday, as this nature centre is fairly quiet during the working day, especially in the morning, but it did get a little busier after lunchtime. I happened to visit on a beautiful sunny February day… I know!!… sunny! in Winter! in England! who knew?!
Akin to all animal parks, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park plays an important role in conservation by breeding animals at risk of extinction in the wild. They work with other animal centres to generate, and maintain, healthy populations of endangered species. Through education with the centre, and events organised by the park, they are a great resource for raising awareness of the threats to endangered species and the environments they live in.
I am always delighted to see the conservation efforts that animal centres go to, and this park was a great example of what can be achieved in the fight for animal conservation.
There were many highlights for me during my visit! I was really excited to see a Komodo Dragon in the flesh, as I have never seen one before… and I found it rather amusing to learn that his name is Pete! His enclosure looked quite new, and was beautifully built, and all the surrounding walls contained fantastic information about this species, which I found fascinating…
Did you know? The Komodo Dragon has venom glands, that contain toxins. They bite down into their prey with sharp, serrated teeth and tug at the flesh with powerful neck muscles, which results in huge wounds for the prey animal. Animals that escape from the Komodo Dragon are not lucky for long as the venom causes symptoms of lower blood pressure, massive bleeding, prevention of clotting, and induces shock. Komodo Dragons can then calmly follow an escapee for miles as the venom takes effect, using their keen sense of smell to hone in on the dying animal. A Komodo Dragon can eat a massive 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.
There are lots of beautiful creatures inhabiting this zoo, including two stunning, but shy European Lynx, cute and curious Situtunga Antelopes, sleepy Ocelots, noisy Kune Knue Pigs, sweet little Agoutis, Meerkats, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, and lots more!
A real highlight was getting to see the adorably fluffy Red Pandas munching away on their namesake’s bamboo. These critters are so endearing to watch, and there were three of them for me to enjoy! Another huge highlight was the popcorn-scented Binturong who was especially posey, and was wonderful to watch manoeuvre around the branches of it’s enclosure… I have only ever seen them asleep before!
While I enjoy seeing every single animal… not much compares to seeing three stunning sloths! Linne’s Two Toed Sloths to be precise. I stood at the window to their enclosure for ages, just watching this beautiful bizarre creatures slowly moving around their enclosure, crunching on pieces of fruit, while a couple of Larger Hairy Armadillos sped around the floor below.
Today was a good day.
The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Centre at a glance…
Summer: 10:00 – 17:00
Winter: 10:00 – 16:00
Children aged 3-15: £3.30
Free for children under 3
Address: Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7RL OR use Google Maps here.
The nature centre is fully accessible.
No dogs allowed, except guide dogs.
There is a cage, picnic area, and gift shop available on site.
You can sponsor an animal here.
This animal park is situated within Canon Hill Park which is a beautiful natural area, and a huge green space. It is a fantastic place to go for walks, and there are plenty of facilities, and activities in the park. Visit the Midlands Art Centre website for more details.