giraffe

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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fota

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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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fota

fota

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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fota

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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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fota

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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fota

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.

little prince

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!