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Top animal-spotting activities in Bristol

16/05/2021 philip Features

With the roadmap out of lockdown underway, the opportunity to emerge from our homes and explore the world once more will no doubt be a welcome one. If you’re based in Bristol or dropping by for a city break, make sure you take some time to visit and view some of the wildlife in and around the city. From the native birds of Britain high in the sky to wild animals from far-flung corners of the globe living in city zoos, there are many new faces to greet.

Take a trip to the zoo

Bristol Zoo Gardens has reopened for the spring and summer under government guidelines, and an astonishing array of animal life is waiting to be witnessed. Home to more than 400 different species of endangered and exotic animals, this unique zoo is set in 12-acres of award-winning gardens.

From the mighty 32-stone silverback gorilla named Jock to the lordly lion Sahee and his lioness Sonika, you’ll find animals from all over the world – and some you might never even have heard of – together in one place.

Play and learn at the Wild Place Project

Already open and ready to receive visitors, the Wild Place Project is perfect for a family day out. Intriguing nature trails and outdoor adventures and will take you deep into the heart of Bear Wood to meet the European brown bears and will have you clambering beneath the undergrowth in the Fun Fort.

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a giraffe up close or watch a Madagascan lemur leaping in action, you’ll find this sustainable endeavour an unmissable opportunity. Designed to educate all who attend through its entertaining activities and informative talks, the project aims to raise awareness of important conservation issues like protecting the natural habitats of the animal kingdom.

Watch Bristol’s birds on a skyride of your own

Booking a hot air balloon flight around Bristol can be a birdwatcher’s paradise. When you soar above the city and beyond, you can see a wealth of different species that call the skies their home, from curlews and kestrels to wagtails and pied flycatchers.

Unlike many aircraft, hot air balloons present an unobtrusive presence in the skies and are less likely to disturb animal life nearby – one of the key reasons they have become popular on African safaris. Make sure you pack your camera and take plenty of pictures. Southwest England is home to wide array of avian species, so you never know what rare sightings you might enjoy on your trip.

The ideal time for hot air balloons to launch is at dawn and dusk, when the air is cooler. From the chorus of males calling for mates in the morning to blackbirds chirping as the evening arrives, you might find you receive a send-off song from Bristol’s birds as you lift into the air.

Whether your Bristol expedition involves exploring the skyline above the city or walking its streets below this year, make sure you take full advantage of the chance to encounter some of the amazing wildlife that calls this picturesque part of the country its home.

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