I have very mixed feelings about zoos and wild animals in captivity. In fact I rarely visit such places, despite the obvious appeal photographically. Ideally I’d go on a safari in Kenya and do it for real. In fact that is certainly on my ‘to do list’. In the meantime a visit to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis with a friend did certainly tick the box of getting me up close and personal with some of the animals (albeit safely behind glass or wire).

snow leaopard

Sad but beautiful; one of the pair of beautiful snow leopards.

Blurred behind bars (left), but the focus on the fence I thought added emotion to the subject of a dozing snow leopard.

View from below.

A walk through the viewing tunnel gives (if you are lucky) a thrilling view of these stunning animals very close up. Indeed I was very lucky when one decided to have a snooze directly over my head making it just inches from me.

On yer head!

It also gave me the opportunity to scrutinise it’s features and grab one or two phone snaps through the perspex.

Big cat paw.

Just a big pussy cat.

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis

Leopard portrait.

Of course taking any photos through dirty scratched perspex on a smartphone camera will always be limiting, but sometimes it’s about just being there and experiencing the moment. Being a cat lover, this was an amazing experience for me.

There are many other interesting animals, insects and fish at this delightful little zoo near Milnthorpe, Cumbria, even though my attention was drawn to the snow leaopards this time. I will certainly be returning with my ‘posh camera’ next time and take a closer look at what I can snap, but for now, enjoy one or two more animal delights…

Patagonian Hare or Mara.

Looking like a cross between a hare and a small kangaroo, the Mara is a rodent more closely related to a guinea pig, but either way a beautiful animal.

Fruit bats sleeping overhead.

Gheko in hiding.

I hope you have enjoyed my small selection of snaps from Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. It has certainly whet my appetite for returning soon. So watch this space and if you are going yourself, I recommend midweek in term time to (fingers crosse) get plenty of space. More Photographer’s Ramblings Coming Soon…