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Wildlife attractions in Cornwall

Wildlife attractions make great family days out and Devon has a great selection, from the famous Paignton Zoo to the charming Donkey Sanctuary in SidmouthThe Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is home to over 40 tanks of marine life ranging from sharks and seahorses to tropical fish. The large ocean tank is teeming with amazing creatures and the walkthrough tunnel makes it possible to get up-close and see them swimming right over your head.

The Tropical Shark Lagoon at the aquarium is another popular exhibit featuring stingrays, giant wrasse, sharks and other exotic fish. See the four-foot long polychaete worm named Barry which can cause numbness if the bristles near its mouth are touched. Daily talks and feeding demonstrations make this a most educational visit for all ages.

Winner of many tourism awards, Newquay Zoo is home to hundreds of animals from around the world. See safari wildlife from the African savanna such as wildebeest, zebra, antelope, ostriches and warthogs along with animals from the Philippines and Asia. Meerkats, sloths, penguins, toucans and hornbills are fascinating to watch. The zoo also has a conservation program for rare and endangered species. Explore the farm, the Tarzan Trail and the Dragon Maze before enjoying a lakeside barbecue or lunch at Café Lemur.

Paradise Park and Jungle Barn is Cornwall’s top wildlife sanctuary set in beautiful gardens near Hayle. As well as specializing in parrots and tropical birds it has a fun farm and a park with over 650 birds and animals. Enjoy the free-flying bird shows, feed colourful lorikeets with nectar and watch the Eagles of Paradise display as part of a day at this award-winning sanctuary. The Jungle Barn play centre is ideal at any time of year with giant slides and a snack bar.

Wildlife Rescue Centres in Cornwall

Britain’s busiest marine rescue centre for marine animals is the National Seal Sanctuary at Helston. As well as providing a refuge for injured seals, sea lions and penguins, each year it has dozens of small pups to take care of before returning most of them to the sea. Visitors learn how to tube feed a seal pup and take its temperature on a dummy pup before watching the real seals swim and dive from the underwater viewing area. The Cornish Coast Experience has fish, crabs, oysters and anemones that would typically be found in rock pools around the Cornish coast. There is also a selection of rescued ponies, goats, sheep and small domestic animals for petting.

Looe is home to the Monkey Sanctuary which is home to around 24 rescued monkeys including Capuchin Monkeys, Woolly Monkeys, Patas Monkeys and Barbary Macaques. The sanctuary relies upon entrance fees, donations and adoptions to look after these animals. Explore the wildlife room exhibits or get hands on and be a keeper for a day!

Finally, near Liskeard offers care to zoo animals in need of a permanent home. It has a wide range of exotic creatures including lemurs, ostriches, zebras and owls. There are usually plenty of baby animals to coo over and there is a reconstructed Massai Village for an unexpected taste of Africa in Cornwall.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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