After a few months in lockdown, we were finally able to visit Knowsley Safari Park, in the last day of June. I was so excited to visit them again. From this weekend the lockdown will ease ever more in England (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland go at different speeds).
We planned to have a picnic and the picnic areas are really good, with their own parking space and plenty of space between them. It didn’t rain, but we were not sure, so we’ve had our picnic at home, before leaving for Knowsley. I prepared a rather fancy picnic with potato and pickled walnuts salad, Chinese bamboo shoots with straw mushrooms, and mutabbal (aubergines with tahini). I also baked bread (mini-breads) and a sweet loaf. It was lovely and I might make this again, for another picnic, when we’ll be sure the weather behaves itself.
Now, let’s talk about the animals. Many of them looked a bit tired, as you’ll see in the pictures, having a nap or relaxing. We booked tickets after lunchtime, so they might have had their lunch and decided on a siesta in the afternoon. But, others were full of energy.
She wasn’t fazed at all that there were cars passing by. It was a bit difficult to go around her and not touch the grass, as she was standing in the middle of the road, busy to rearrange her feathers.
The monkeys were so vivacious and happy to see the cars. Knowsley opened a couple of weeks ago, but the monkeys were still alert and happy to go on the cars. I never saw them so excited to see the cars, showing how much they missed them (I think they couldn’t care if humans were in the cars or not, the cars are the attraction) during lockdown.
I am chuffed that I took this picture, with my phone. It seems like the monkey is taking a selfie, a fashion selfie, just perfect for a trendy monkey’s Instagram account. I love it.
As you can see, the cars are offering the perfect spot to chill, if you are a monkey, that is.
Mothers and fathers with little ones are not joining in the fun. They are too busy caring for the little one. Usually is the young males who are busy destroying the cars (I’m sure that doesn’t come as a shock).
The skill the monkey have to remove bits from the cars is amazing. This is our wiper, from the rear screen. To remove it, my husband showed me, one needs to push, switch, and press. It is a 3-step process, but the monkeys are so well versed that it took a matter of seconds to remove it. Any of them could be hired at Halfords for wiper changes. Luckily for us, the wiper was left on top of the car and I was able to retrieve it after we left the monkeys enclosure.
The monkeys were so keen on cars that they were staying on them till the last moment. A keeper was checking each car. A monkey jumped from a car in front of us and then jumped on ours, just before we could exit. They missed the fun and games, and also the mental challenges the cars bring. Those wipers aren’t going to remove themselves.
The Moose was relaxing a few metres from the road, watching us pass by. He usually spends his time further from the road and it is not as easy to spot.
The lions were not bothered by us at all, and they were very busy with each other.
Isn’t she gorgeous?
The tigers were sleeping too, hard to spot in their huge enclosure.
The meerkats were popular, as always.
Finally, a picture of Steve. I forgot to check the name of his breed, as I know him by name. He is a fun character at the Flights of the Talons display. You might remember the plastic snake episode I recounted back in February; if not, here is the link.
Some parts of the park are not open, where social distancing is harder to maintain. We couldn’t see the bats, all shows were cancelled (sealions, birds of prey).
I’ve enjoyed my time at Knowsley as always. I just wish they would consider adding some good vegan options for snacks. For example, we could buy some sorbet, but no vegan ice-cream, despite it being widely available in shops. For an animal charity, lots of vegan options should be the norm, considering that many of the species in there are almost extinct in the wild due to land clearances to grow animal feed (for livestock).