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Fun Things to Do Involving Animals in London?

Fun Things to Do Involving Animals in London?

Old May 5th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Fun Things to Do Involving Animals in London?

I figured the title would be a bit funny....

Other than the aquarium, where you really can't touch the animals, are there any animal themed places in London that are fun to visit?

How good is the zoo in London? Or are some of the zoos in the US better?

Reading the thread about the elephant in London, and absolutely adoring elephants, prompted me to write this post.

I do feel that pets are quite good therapy and figured it would be nice to pet a nice animal while in London.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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Actually, in the London Aquarium there is a 'Touch Pool' which is filled with rays and other types of fish - there are some flat fish like soles and plaice - and other fish that are in an open pool and you can touch and stroke them! Sounds weird but it was quite fun...
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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I wasn't overly impressed with the London zoo. It was not a bad zoo by any means, but I was kind of underwhelmed. But to be fair, I saw a lot of people of various ages who were enjoying themselves a lot. It has been several years since I was there, so it might be better now (or not).

A couple of zoos in the US that impressed me were the San Antonio zoo and the Washington DC National Zoo. I'd include the San Diego zoo, but as I haven't been there since 2nd grade I'm not a good source about that.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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I don't consider zoo animals pets, but imprisoned wildlife. What is fun is to go to those areas of London where you can see wildlife, such as Hampstead Heath, where last June a fox crossed the trail in front of me, or Islington, where a great blue heron beside the canal startled me when he looked at me. I had thought he was a piece of park statuary.

It used to be that you could see cows in Richmond, but perhaps not anymore. But just keep you eye out. Maybe you'll even spot a whale swimming up the Thames.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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I must admit, I'm not a huge fan of traditional zoos - I find the size and starkness of the enclosures disturbing...

I did go to London Zoo a couple of years back and at least they no longer have larger animals, those that really should have larger spaces, such as elephants. But still... a bit disheartening.

I prefer safari parks/ wildlife parks where animals have huge enclosures and where it's us humans who are restricted - one must stay in one's cars as one drives through THEIR territories. Whipsnade and Woburn aren't massively far from London though I don't know how good public transport access is.

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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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My issue with the London Zoo is not that it is a bad zoo, it isn't. But it is expensive--tickets are $25 for a adult. The National Zoo in Washington, which is, like London, not bad, is free. To be fair, the fantastic San Diego Zoo charges $32 for a ticket.

You can ride a horse in Hyde Park, if that is of interest. Info:

http://www.hydeparkstables.com/



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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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The Battersea Dog's Home does tours, but they don't have a programme on their website http://www.dogshome.org/
it looks as though you need to contact them to find out.

You can't touch the residents but the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes is very interesting and of course there are deer in Richmond Park.
CotswoldScouser, you are going the right way to being reincarnated ;-)
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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I have never visited one, but there are quite a lot of city farms in London.
See http://www.london-footprints.co.uk/visitfarms.htm

It would certainly be different.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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I agree, I hate Zoos...free animals!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:45 PM
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Miss Prism

Did I say something???
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:28 PM
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visit wembly stadium on a match night?


seriously, there are the royal ravens to be seen at the tower of london.they are amusing to watch as they dont behave much like birds, spending their day behing papmpered by royal attendants, frolicking in the castles sprinkler system, and making loud noises to the tourists.

there are also mumified egyptian pets in the british museum.cats. parrots. even a mumified goldfish!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:36 PM
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In addition to the hordes of pigeons that populate the square, there are a few mallard ducks who swim the fountains in Trafalgar with an amusingly self-satisfied look.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 02:44 AM
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You can watch them feed the royal pelicans in St. James Park.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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The page http://www.farmgarden.org.uk/ has a list of community farms and gardens, copied here, and http://www.farmgarden.org.uk/Documents/London%20Map.pdf has a map that you can print out but must them enlarge. Central and eastern boroughs of London with two such farms are Camden and Tower Hamlets, and with one are Lewisham, Hackney, Newham, Greenwich, and Lambeth. Each city farm has farm animals, used to meeting children and other humans, usually in school groups. I have seen city children enchanted.
City Farms & Community Gardens: City Farms and Community Gardens comprise a very varied collection. Each has their own unique opening times, size, public facilties & services and type and number of animals in their collection. You should check with the individual farms prior to arranging your visit. Some sites are far more developed than others and most are also looking for volunteers.
*Brooks Farm Skeltons Lane, Leyton, London, E10
0208 539 4278
*Coram's Fields 93 Guildford Street, London, WC1N 1DN
0207 837 6138
*Deen City Farm 39 Windsor Avenue, Merton, London, SW19 2RR
0208 543 5300

*Freightliners City Farm Sheringham Road, Islington, London, N7 8PF 0207 609 0467
*Hammersmith Community Gardens Association Hammersmith
07890 514 050
*Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row, Hackney, London, E2 8QA
0207 729 6381
*Hounslow Urban Farm Faggs Road, Feltham, TW14 0LZ
0208 751 0850
*Kentish Town City Farm 1 Cressfield Close, Grafton Road, London, NW5 4BN
0207 916 5421
*Mansfield Outdoor Centre Manor Road, Lambourne End, Essex, RM4 1NB
0208 500 3047
*Newham City Farm King George Avenue, Custom House, London,
E16 3HR
0207 476 1170
*Spitalfields Farm, Weaver Street, London, E1 6HJ
0207 247 8762

*Stepping Stones Farm Stepney Way, London, E1 3DG
0207 790 8204

*Surrey Docks City Farm South Wharf, Rotherhithe Street, Southwark, London SE16 1EY
0207 231 1010

*Thameside Park City Farm 40 Thames Road, Barking, RG11 0HH
0208 594 8449

*Vauxhall City Farm 24 St Oswald's Place, London, SE11 5JE
0207 582 4204
The London Zoo has an area where children handle animals.

I have on disc a note on things children like in London, please tell me if you would likle it by e mail.

Welcome to London

Ben Haines
[email protected]
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Old May 6th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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If you use the Docklands Light Railway to or from Greenwich, you could stop at Mudchute station for a stroll around the park and a visit to the City Farm there. Depending on the time of year, there may be pigs, sheep, goats, cows, llamas and assorted fowl to look at, and there are riding stables.
http://www.mudchute.org/
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Old May 6th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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I think it's sad that people "hate" zoos. I especially hope that no one who "hates" zoos would ever consider keeping any animal as a "pet" for it is much the same idea. If it weren't for zoos there would be dozens, perhaps hundreds of endangered species which would now be extinct. Not only do zoos do the major work of saving endangered and rare species, but they also enable the average person, particularly children, to get a first hand look and gain appreciation at animals.
While it might be argued that feeding the animals and keeping them in cages is not "natural" it is hard to argue the fact that animals in zoos are far better cared for and have a far better chance of survival than those in the wild. In fact it would be easy to say that animals in zoos are perhaps the most "pampered" and protected animals on the planet.

I've been to the London Zoo twice, most recently just a year ago. It is considerably nicer than it was in the past and much more work is being done to create more natural environments. It is expensive but there are various coupons for savings on admission including the usual 2 for 1 offers from London railways, etc. Meanwhile the money is going to a very worthwhile cause in my humble opinion.
 
Old May 6th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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As I write, there is a 40 foot mechanical elephant rampaging around London.
http://news.bbc.co.uk
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Old May 6th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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I enjoy trying to identify the water birds in St. James Park. There are some pretty odd ducks there.

Nessundorma, I am quite sure that you did not see a Great Blue Heron but rather a Grey Heron. The former is common in North America but would draw quite a crowd of eager birders if one were to turn up the UK. Grey Heron is common in Europe and looks somewhat similar to its North American cousin.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Yopu can annoy otters, bother rabbits and inconvenience Llllllamas at Battersea Zoo (it's really for kids).

http://www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk/
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Old May 7th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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"fun things to do involving animals" sounds a bit, um, kinky?
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