The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, located near Doncaster in South Yorkshire, has almost 400 animals and 70 different species. From big cats including Amur tigers, Amur leopards and lions, to polar bears, monkeys, meerkats, otters and many other species, it makes for a great day out as well as an opportunity to photograph some amazing animals.
I love big cats (and small cats), so on my visit went straight to Lion Country to see the African lions. There are some higher points on the path that allow unobstructed views, so you can get some photos without the fence in the way, provided that the lions are in the right place of course! When they’re resting on top of the mounds, you can also get some natural backgrounds.
I next headed to the Amur leopards. These beautiful cats are often at the back of the enclosure. However, when they scale the climbing frames, you are at a level with them from the viewing platform. I was lucky on my last visit that they were fairly active and I was therefore able to get some photos I’m happy with. These cats are critically endangered – I can only hope that breeding programmes such as the one run here can help to reintroduce these remarkable cats back into the wild.
Next up on my visit were the Amur tigers. I could spend hours watching these cats and my many, many, many photos show that I probably have. Photography wise, there is a viewing platform where you can get some unobstructed views. Backgrounds can be a challenge in the enclosure, but you can get some good portraits.
The other star animals are the polar bears. I’ve not managed to get any really good photos of them, but I will be back to try again!
Moving away from the bigger animals, another of my favourite animals is the Six-Banded Armadillo. These guys run around their enclosure, occasionally stopping to dig. They share the enclosure with the marmosets, which always present a challenge to photograph as they move so quickly!
In the late afternoon, the low winter sun produces some fantastic light for photographing the animals here. I was back at the lions as the sun started to set. I liked the light for a few last portraits before I headed home.
If you want to see a full list of animals, please visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park website (see below). Here are a selection of my photos from my visits:
|Approximate post code (for sat nav)||DN4 6TB|
|Parking||There is free on site parking|
This is the location of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park:
Notes for next time
- Late afternoon on a bright sunny day is the best time to visit. This gave the best light.
- Try to get some better shots of the polar bears