Monday, 8 November 2010

Our trip to Paignton Zoo for the ACE BIAZA Conference

Lorraine and I had an exciting few days away in Devon last week!  Some aspects were really positive, some more of an adventure!  As promised here’s a slice of some of the ‘goings on’!


We thought it was a great success; particularly the full-day of guest speakers on Thursday 4th November.  The presentations and lectures came from different perspectives – all on the topic of Technology and how it affects business today.  Each speaker was extremely engaging and interesting in their own way.  I took copious notes (although I’m not sure when I’ll have time to go through them!)  The conference was punchy, professional and pertinent to our business.  We were really pleased to have been able to attend!



Autumn leaves at Paignton

Paignton Zoo hosted the conference and did us all proud!  It was very well organised and the venue was excellent.  In addition to the very full programme of guest speakers and events we had a couple of hours for a self-guided tour of the zoo.  During this time I managed to capture a few images to share with you!  These two show some of the amazing autumn colours!

Autumn vibrance at Paignton







Giraffe (2) at Paignton

Black Rhino - Paignton

It was great to see the  Black Rhino (left) so close – having spent many years in Africa I’ve been fortunate enough to see them in the wild in game reserves, but being able to observe the animal and some of its behaviour at such close range was a real privilege.


I couldn’t resist the graceful giraffe (above) with its long dark purple tongue – browsing and stripping branches of their leaves.




Crocodile at Paignton

Hartmanns Zebra at Paignton

The warmth of the crocodile house (left) was a good place to spend some time on a cool, windy Autumn afternoon!

The Hartman's Mountain Zebra (right) is an endangered equid. There are still a few to be found in the wild in Namibia living in a harsh yet fragile environment. This subspecies is much larger than it's close relative, the Cape mountain zebra, and is the only species of Zebra that has a ‘dewlap’ - a pendulous fold of skin under the throat.




Charlotte with cat at Paignton

It wasn’t only exotic fauna that caught our attention!Squirrel (resized) at Paignton

First was the simple joy of watching a Grey Squirrel harvesting sustenance from the Autumn floor ready for the winter months ahead.

Then we met up with Charlotte  from the Isle of Wight Zoo.  Whilst walking amongst the enclosures we came across a very affectionate domestic tabby cat!  She befriended us and then followed us around – even venturing into the warmth of the Ape House! 




Lorraine and I initially had a reservation in a ‘top flight mobile home’ – a two-bedroomed caravan that we were told was the height of luxury and had everything we needed.  Other delegates had booked into this holiday park in order to be close to Paignton (but perhaps stayed in a different style of accommodation?)  To cut a long story short we were quite shocked and disappointed …. in fact the whole experience would have been a disaster – had we not met two young ladies on-site who helped us find alternative accommodation and recommended the Osborne Hotel in Torquay.  So we checked out, and moved on! If by any chance anyone knows Anna or Sarah Jane from the Holiday Park – we are so very grateful to them for their referral – what a special place – as can be seen from the images below:


Osborne Hotel, Torquay

Osborne Hotel (4) Torquay








Thank you to BIAZA, Paignton Zoo and the Osborne Hotel for a tapestry of positive memories!



The hands-on interaction with the little tabby at Paignton stirred something within in Lorraine and me -  perhaps a longing to be back, nose-to-nose with our own interactive animals at Seaview Wildlife Encounter -  and a deep appreciation of how special and important that closeness is to us.

1 comment:

  1. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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