The lion and the lamb

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Fota Wildlife Park – the most amazing place in Ireland! It opened its gates in 1983, and since then it remains one of Ireland’s top ten visitor attractions, and a perfect place to spend a day for visitors of all ages.  Most of the animals who inhabit the park are allowed to roam throughout more than 50 acres of  grassland, with the exception of the cheetahs and other predators.  Almost “The Lion and the Lamb” settings 🙂

King Julien XIII and his people together with many other animals  are free ranging in the Park and mingle with the visitors.  I just couldn’t help taking their portraits ( hundreds).

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We were lucky to come across a whole Ring-tailed Lemur gang sitting in the tree. In the beginning I thought there were only two animals, but all of a sudden they started falling off the tree like ripe pears.

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Six or seven Lemurs jumped from the tree, one after another, and run away. We met two of them again. They were perching within a stretched arm distance, pretending to ignore us. I didn’t see the others,  but  I knew that they were hiding somewhere near.

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There is a pond surrounding the Monkey Island.  All the water fowl are free ranging, but the edge of the pond  is surprisingly clean.

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Many animals In Fota Wildlife Park are allowed to roam free, while mixed with other species.  A tiny barrier stops the human visitors from trespassing. Rothschild Giraffe is another beautiful species living in the Park together with Zebras and female Ostriches.

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Foggy Irish countryside in background.

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The Monkey Island is a home for monkeys, of course.  In Fota Wildlife Park they have chosen the species that can be allowed  to roam in a free range environment, and are not aggressive to each other.

This is an Agile Gibbon – an old one, and a mother with a baby.

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This is a Howler monkey female.

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Fota Wildlife Park is home to the Scarlet, Green winged and Blue & Gold Macaws. The birds roost high up in trees, and while the species have bred at Fota in the past, there haven’t been any young hatched in recent years.

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Over 200 Cheetah cubs have been born in Fota since 1985.  Fota also has Ireland’s only Cheetah Run. The device keeps the Cheetahs active, while maintaining their wild instincts.  The food is suspended on a wire that travels 10 feet off the ground, at approximately 65km/h.  Hundreds of spectators gather to watch the Cheetahs feeding  at 3pm every day. Cheetahs and a few other species live in fenced enclosures.

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The weather wasn’t good, it was raining. We thought we would have the island for ourselves. Well, we had to go around to find a parking spot. Always busy in Fota.

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I share my birthday with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  I am very proud of that – I loved his books before I found out when his birthday was. His most-read novella, The Little Prince, is translated into more than 250 languages, and selling two millions copies every year. I have a copy like this one.

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There are two the most cited quotes in the novella:   On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux – “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”  And the other: Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé  – “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” I thought about both of them in Fota, watching young children reverently feed the waterfowl. For them, this trip was looked forward to with a great deal of excitement, discussions and research.  New names were learned,  new discoveries made, but the greatest of all the experiences they got here is that change in heart that can become a prelude to many other beautiful experiences.

Thank you for visiting Fota Island with me!

Photography tip of the day: When taking photographs of animals definitely change your focus to a “Single point”  and focus on the eye, otherwise your camera will automatically focus on the point closest to the lens –  which is animal’s nose.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!

103 comments

    1. Oh you make me smile 🙂 Glad to meet another person who knows Twilight well 🙂 I was thinking about the book of Revelations where it is said that the lion and the lamb will live together peaceably after the evil is taken away from the Earth. These animals truly live together in peace.

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    1. Haha, it is only a marketing trick to attract the readers :p
      On a serious note, it is an amazing place where all these different species are living side by side, as in the Scriptures 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

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  1. I’m just an old fashioned photographer raised on Weston light meters and manual focusing – until recently. I had never given thought to the automatic focusing gizmo and the “eye” advice. Thanks! Your (I think its a) duck photo with the hand took first place for a shot. 🙂

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  2. Hello Inese,
    Such an amazing series!! I love lemurs, and your photograph them (and all the wonderful animals) so beautifully! I would love to visit here someday…I can dream about it. As always, thank you for sharing the beauty. My best wishes to you and your family!!
    Warm wishes,
    Takami 🙂 ❤

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      1. It’s my pleasure & honour too 🙂 And it must have been very exciting indeed, to see the lemur out of his cage and enjoying freedom. I’d definitely love to visit this beautiful place someday. Until then, I will admire it through your lens! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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  3. Great shots of a fascinating place! By the way, ‘The Little Prince’? One of the top ten books of the 20th century! Clearly!

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  4. What beautiful animals, sometimes I think they’re even prettier than us humans, isn’t that something? That they might actually have more virtues than us?

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    1. Truly beautiful. Many other animals live there, and all very close to the visitors. I guess that monkeys cannot swim – it was only a narrow strip of water between the visitors and the Monkey island.

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  5. What a fabulous park! I love your photos. It had to be grand being able to visit all those different animals. I love this quote “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” I wish more people would take it to heart. 🙂

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  6. Hi Ines! I enjoyed coming along with you to such a notable tourist attraction 🙂 I think your photos are beautiful and catch the amazing sights so well. I liked the lemurs and giraffes the best, although it was very hard to choose favorites! The eyes on the lemurs are so captivating, aren’t they? 🙂

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  7. Did you notice that in the first bird photo all three of the flamingoes (?) and the duck are standing on one leg? Loved the photos, I must figure out where Fota Island is in case I get back to Ireland.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, I did notice:). It was so funny, as if he pretended being a flamingo 🙂
      Fota Island is near Cork, just a few kilometers from Cobh, a Titanic town.

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  8. Wow! Very nice photos! I love the ringtail shots – don’t they always look surprised? And the one with his little tongue sticking out… These are really superb shots!

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    1. Thank you Ann! They do look a little bit surprised, this one especially. He posed me at least ten minutes before he jumped off the tree, and the others didn’t pose but hurried behind him. He must be their leader or something.

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  9. Very nice of pictures of touring the park. These are beautiful animals. I also like the concept of free roaming. I am wondering about Cheetah. I read the mentioning about the “device”. Does the device help contain the Cheetah (and perhaps other predators too)?

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    1. Thank you for reading! 🙂 Cheetah run is something I have never seen before.They have a huge enclosure where they can run around the perimeter. There is a special feeding device swinging a chunk of meat and moving it with the speed of 40mi/h around the perimeter so that cheetahs feel like hunting:) They chase the meal, and one of them gets it – everything like in the wild.

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  10. Great post indeed. The Cheetah run sounds incredible and all the animal shots are fabulous.It’s good to know the animals seemed happy. It’s always difficult to strike a balance… And thanks for the tip as usual! 🙂

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    1. Thank you for reading, Olga! Yes, they are very relaxed, and seem happy. Cheetah run is something I have never seen before. They are dragging a chunk of meat in the circle ( about 300m? 1m high?) and all the cheetahs are running along and trying to catch it. The speed is about 65km/h Amazing to see these beautiful animals doing what they do best 🙂

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    1. There was a barrier between me and the cheetahs 🙂 A tiger was in an enclosure too. The other animals could step over the barrier if they wanted. Amazing, and the animals seemed very happy.

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  11. What would you do if you only had one day to live?

    “Take overy a small country and impose my will on them wether they wanted me to or not. ” – King Julian. 🙂

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 It happened in front of me – the first two jumped off the tree and the others started to appear one by one from nowhere and followed. I was just standing and watching, mesmerized:)

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      1. Fota Wildlife Park is stunning dear Inese… And so are your photographs (no surprises)… I had never seen a Lemur neither i knew they were called that way… The giraffes and flamingos are amazingly beautiful. Great post, my friend. thanks for sharing and many hugs to you and yours!, Aquileana 😀 ⭐

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