Ireland – It’s Intrigue is Irresistibly Interesting: Wildlife

Well, I hope you were convinced by my last post that Fota Island, in Ireland’s County Cork, is irresistibly interesting. But if you are still unsure, I have another intriguing surprise! Fota Island has a wild side!

Wildlife and Whisky

I have read this slogan more than once, in correlation with Fota Island. I can’t say that I experienced the whisky part. But I did enjoy the wildlife. And on a workday! Does it get any better than that?

Fota Wildlife Park

“Fota Wildlife Park is a 100-acre wildlife park located on Fota Island, near Carrigtwohill, County Cork, Ireland. Opened in 1983, it is an independently funded, not-for-profit charity that is one of the leading tourism, wildlife and conservation attractions in Ireland.”


Our colleagues, who live and work in Cork, arranged a team-building event for us at Fota Wildlife Park. We were divided into 3 groups and given a list of tasks to complete for points. I had the best group, just sayin’.

We did not win. In fact, halfway through, we realized we were so far behind there was no possible path to victory. Not in the challenge anyway. So, we decided to enjoy the wildlife. And in my book, that was a winning decision.

Instead of scanning information boards for trivia answers, we took the time to read and learn. While other teams were running past animals which weren’t on the task map, we stopped to see them. We had real conversations and got to know one another.

The giraffes were so curious! They came so close to us that I had to step back to get them in the frame.

We had the best strategy. It was proven to me afterwards when people from the other two teams asked me to send my photos of the animals to them, because they hadn’t had time to take any.

A red panda.
Isn’t this red panda adorable? Don’t you just want one?

Even with three hours spent mostly not competing, I didn’t see everything. This could be an-all day adventure! The park is unexpectedly large.

A lion in a large enclosure
This lion was behind a glass partition, thankfully, because he was only a couple feet away!

“And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:25 (emphasis mine)

Fota Wildlife Park is the kind of place scientists, like myself and my colleagues, love. The animals are given space, and very natural habitats. But the pens aren’t so big that you can’t find or watch the wildlife inside.

If I ever get back to Fota Island, I will plan a whole day at the Wildlife Park. And I will take my husband. I know he would enjoy it.

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Isaiah 11:6

I think, maybe, I’m reading into God’s Word and making it say what I want to hear, but… Is it too much of a stretch to think we might be able to cuddle a red panda in the presence of Jesus some day? Just some food for thought.

Do you find the red panda as irresistible as I do? Is the Fota Wildlife Park a place you’d visit if you planned a vacation to Ireland? Have you already been there? Or to any other wildlife park? Which animals intrigue you when you go to the zoo?

Curious how this Ireland trip came about?
Click here for the introduction post.


7 replies on “Ireland – It’s Intrigue is Irresistibly Interesting: Wildlife”

Red pandas are super adorable! I think it would be lovely to be able to snuggle the animals in God’s Kingdom! I’ve always wanted to snuggle a koala, but have heard they’re nasty. Not in God’s Kingdom though! How exciting that would be!!!

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Hi Rita – my husband is an Aussie and when we were dating (we met online and I lived in California), I got to pet a koala when I was visiting him. They were very sleepy and sweet as long as you touched them only on their low back. 😉 I hope you get to see one some day.

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What a treat! The red Panda is adorable. Yes, I want one. LOL I haven’t been to Ireland, but I did get to pet a koala in Australia. They are so soft and sleepy. I’m a sucker for any zoo. When my kids were little we spent a lot of time at the Los Angeles Zoo. San Diego Wild Animal park and Sea World are also a fave. I also love the San Francisco Zoo in Daly City that overlooks the ocean. Ahh…my happy place.

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We had passes to the San Diego zoo and Wild Animal Park when my kids were little. Then we moved to Hawaii and the zoo in Waikiki was a fun, but much smaller, excursion. I’m always partial to the monkeys. More recently, we visited a six Flags Magic Kingdom, and that was great because they had the fun rides and the animals. It was something for everyone, once my kids were older.

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