On the first day, we went to the Highland Wildlife Park. It was only 30 minutes away form the house. We came here because the main attractions here were wolverines, lynx and polar bears. Part of it was drive round. Most of these animals were herbivores. The first animal we saw was a takin, which is like an antelope crossed with a bison, but smaller. There was some European bison, which are really rare in the wild, only found in Holand and other countries in eastern Europe. As we were driving round the bison, we saw some wild barnacle geese. Their chicks were really fluffy. Amongst them was a mistle thrush. There was a lot of different types of deer, and some of them had calves. There were some bukhara deer, and there were two males with really big antlers. Their calves were really cute. After the deer, we saw a pair of vicuna, which is a type of llama like animal that lives in the Andes mountain range in South America. They aren’t very big but have lots of fur to keep them warm at high altitudes. As we were driving round, we saw the polar bears at the top of the hill. When we got out of the car, we went to see if the wolverine was out. We didn’t see it. The lynx enclosure was next, and one was lying in its den which looked a bit like a hut with legs. Lynx are wild cats that live in northern Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, we don’t have any lynx in the UK because they were hunted out centuries ago. At the zoo, they were Eurasian lynx. These are the largest type in the world, weighing up to 30kg. We went up the slope and we saw some eagle owls. These are the largest type in the world and are strong enough to kill a young fox. Unfortunately, the snow leopards weren’t out in their enclosure. A polar bear was lying right next to the fence, pretending that no one was there and that he was asleep! It was absolutely massive. There was another one that was up and about, looking like it owned the place. There were some wild hooded crows flying around, probably looking for a carcass that had been left out for the bears. These are Scotland’s version of our carrion crows, and are called “hooded” crows because of their black head and wings and dark grey body. We walked further up the hill and saw some Preswalski’s wild horses, which were once very close to extinction in the wild.
We did many other things on our holiday in Scotland: we went to a very windy place called Loch Garten near Aviemore where we saw ospreys, crested tits and a red squirrel with a very blond tail; we saw a white-tailed eagle in Ardnamurchan and lots of otters; we went on a boat trip and we saw porpoises, which are related to dolphins; and we went on a boat trip on Loch Shiel and we saw golden eagles and we went past Mike Tomkies’, a wildlife author, old cottage, ‘Wilderness’.