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Fota Wildlife Park

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Lemurs in Fota Wildlife Park

Ring-Tailed Lemurs in Fota Wildlife Park - Roaming the Woodlands Without Enclosure

© 2004 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

This is not a zoo, this is a park filled with wildlife - most enclosures are as open as possible and a wide variety of animals actually roam free around the area. With wide open spaces Fota also will require some time and stamina to be fully explored. Visitors should plan half a day at least for a visit. The cheetah breeding program is known worldwide - but tucked away rather unspectacularly in a corner of the park.

Pros

  • Large and varied number of animals in well-sized enclosures and roaming free.
  • Many animals can actually interact with humans if they choose.
  • Wide open spaces create almost natural habitats.

Cons

  • Long (but easy) walks necessary due to sprawling layout.
  • Cheetah enclosures not really visitor-friendly.
  • Children need to be discouraged to feed the lemurs and monkeys.

Description

  • Sprawling wildlife park in County Cork, situated on an island.
  • Numerous animals roam free and can be touched (with luck and patience).
  • Fota is one of the strongholds of cheetah breeding.

Guide Review - Fota Wildlife Park

Arriving at Fota you will have the impression that you really are in the wild - giraffes can be seen on the plains, emus run by and you will want to take care that any accompanying children (or enthusiastic adults) do not harass the llamas which are in touching (and spitting) distance. A lot of animals in Fota actually roam the countryside without any enclosure except the external parameter of the park. So be prepared for some close encounters!

This freedom also poses some problems - monkeys and lemurs tend to be attracted by all sorts of food and make a beeline for anybody foolish enough to start feeding them. This will mean practicing restraint and keeping children under control. At the same time Fota is the best place to be if you want to experience wildlife up close. Free-roaming animals include kangaroos, capybaras, maras, ring-tailed lemurs, golden monkeys, numerous waterfowl and peacocks - touch at your own risk!

The cheetah enclosures were a bit of a let-down in contrast - Fota is well known for its breeding program, but the enclosures are not visitor-friendly. This may be for the best practical reasons. But do not expect a natural habitat in this area!

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