A few miles South of Penrith, Cumbria, nestled in the countryside of the Eden Valley was Wetheriggs Animal Sanctuary. It is now based in Durham, not far from Barnard Castle. Not a full on zoo in the sense that animals are there on display for the sake of it. Opened as such in 2006 it began taking in unwanted pets, farm animals and exotic animals. I took the time to visit and found the whole experience educational, heart warming and a cuteathon. If you are looking for a small day to treat the children while they learn then you can’t go wrong here.
Within just minutes of wandering I came across many an animal that without the help from the wonderful volunteers at the establishment would not be around today. Many a naive visitor could mistake an animals previous life distress and state for mis-keeping here BUT this is where they are to rehabilitate. Anything too distressed is not on display. The volunteer keepers take lots of pride in their work and you can tell they are enthusiastic in wanting to take questions, especially helping little ones.
From pigs to raccoons. From talking parrots to tarantulas. Ponies to unwanted marmosets. Taken on in their hour of need and given a second chance. Some of the animals are open to be re-homed including rabbits, sheep and some fowl.
Each visit could bring a whole new set of surprises. Maybe new rescued hedgehogs or geese etc who would have been put to sleep otherwise.
Above: A favourite amongst many a visitor. Love the hair on Nobby the Alpaca.
Below: In the reptile house it’s all go for sharing a heat lamp 🙂
Above: Gecko relaxing.
Below: You and the children can of course pet and feed the animals where appropriate. The goats love to get in on that action.
Hidden behind some curtains in a dark dark room you hear the fluttering, your eyes adjust and you see that you are in the company of fruit bats flying around you.
Along with being a charity to help the animals I noted that educational tours are catered for. In some parts the great keepers helped the children get really hands on. Lizards stroked and parrots tickled.