South Lakes Wild Animal Park

September 2001

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The capybara is the world's largest living rodent. It lives and feeds on grasses beside water, its feet are partly webbed and it is an excellent swimmer.

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The ring-tailed coati.

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The white rhinoceros, the world's second heaviest land mammal. Weighing up to three and a half tonnes, only the African elephant is larger. The high value of the horn led to rhino populations plunging dramatically, but the numbers of white rhinos climbed from 30 at the end of the 19th century to 4900 at the end of the 20th.

The word 'white' is derived from the Afrikaans word for wide, and relates to its wide mouth, not its colour.

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These ring-tailed lemurs, native to Madagascar, wander freely around the zoo.

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Tiger feeding. This Sumatran tiger has to climb to the top of the 20ft pole to get its lunch.

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The short-clawed otter, the smallest of the otter family, is becoming increasingly rare in the wild due to polution, in and around their habitat of the rivers and seas of Indonesia and south east Asia.

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The Slender-tailed Meerkat is a very lively and inquisitive carnivore. It spends a great deal of time watching out for predators, typically standing or sitting upright to get the best possible view all around. They live in colonies and shelter deep in burrows in the deserts of Southern Africa. They have sharp teeth and strong claws with which to dig.

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A bird, now identified by Lucy's sister Rosemary as a Red Golden Pheasant.

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Red kangaroos, the largest of all marsupials, growing up to 1.8 metres tall - as tall as a man. It was strange to see them with only a 10cm fence between us and them.

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White-throated wallabies, the smallest type of wallaby. It was declared extinct in Australia in 1932, though re-discovered in 1965 in a small part of coastal New South Wales.

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The red-ruffed lemur is very rare, existing only in the isolated wild Masoala peninsula of Madagascar. This is the heaviest lemur. They usually have twins, they leave them in a nest during the day whilst foraging, unlike the Ring-tails which carry their young around at all times on their bodies.

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A tangle of sleeping lemurs

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The red panda - like its better known cousin, the Giant Panda, it is from China. As well as bamboo, the Red also eats fruit and meat.

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Giraffes, the tallest land mammal. Giraffe are a relatively common sight in the wild as they are not heavily preyed upon except when very young and man has placed no magical properties on its body parts.

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A cheetah asleep in its house.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson