Paradise Wildlife Park: A Very Potter Zoo Trip!

Animals are funny little creatures, aren’t they? I’ve always loved watching David Attenborough documentaries and learning about our furry, scaly, feathered and otherwise-textured companions on this planet. What I love about animals is that despite how different we are, you can still see their personalities and laugh at their human-like reactions in lots of situations. Sometimes, I’ll look at the dog and wonder exactly what he’s thinking when he’s giving me a certain look, a curiosity of mine which has recently been fuelled tremendously by reading about the thoughts of pets in The Travelling Cat Chronicles and If Cats Disappeared From the World! Those funny little expressions and mischievous behaviours are exactly why I ended up having a good giggle going around Paradise Wildlife Park yesterday, and sorting the animals into Hogwarts houses based on their antics!

About Paradise Wildlife Park

So, first things first, a bit about Paradise Wildlife Park! It’s not too far from where I live, as it’s nestled in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It’s got everything from big cats to reptiles, camels, birds, red pandas, wolves, penguins, birds and even a little farmyard area! I can also envision that it would be fab for little kids as well as big kids like myself, as there was lots of playgrounds dotted around the park and even a little train ride through the dinosaur enclosure. (Yes, you read that right – there are also dinosaurs at Paradise Wildlife Park! They were actually really awesome too – full size animatronics in a big forest area filled with dinosaur sounds! It was one of my favourite parts of the park – I felt like I’d walked into Jurassic Park or The Extinction Trials!)

An exhibit at Paradise Wildlife Park featuring a metal ball that's stronger than a human skull that has been punctured and scratched by a baby tiger!There were also great little information plaques and features around the park, which told you about the park’s history, key facts about the animals and more. I particularly liked this Tiger Ball feature – it’s a metal ball that was in the enclosure with baby tigers for two weeks, and look at the mess it’s in! The metal had no flexibility whatsoever for me as a puny human, but it was basically Play Doh for a tiger. Just to scare you – the ball is stronger than a human skull. The keepers are certainly braver than me!

The park staff had also decorated for Halloween, so there was lots of pumpkins in the animals’ enclosures, spider webs, ghosts and bats floating around the park!

Paradise Wildlife Park is also part of the Zoological Society Hertfordshire, which means they support various animal-related projects throughout the year with the aim of helping endangered animals . As well as some of the animals you see on the park, Paradise Wildlife Park also supports causes such as helping water voles and hedgehogs stay in their natural habitat, so it’s nice to see how much they care about all sorts of animals.

Anyway, onto my Sorting Hat tour. I won’t sort every single animal, or we’ll be here all day! But there were some who just screamed their Hogwarts house, so I’ll give you a round up of those! So, who did I sort first?!

Alpacas – Hufflepuff

So, according to Pottermore, Hufflepuffs value hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play. If you could see these little guys waiting for their keepers to feed them, you’d see patience at its finest. They never took their eyes off the food, but understood that they had to be weighed first. However, that didn’t mean they didn’t do  excitable little foot taps when the food got near them!

They also clearly valued fair play. There were times when they looked like they were considering just popping their head into the feed bucket when the keeper’s back was turned. or even when they looked tempted to knock over their fellow alpaca to get to the feed first, but they valued fair play and hung back until it was their turn. Plus, they’re fluffy and liked a good pet and some affection, so they’re definite Hufflepuffs!

A cheeky alpaca waiting for food at Paradise Wildlife Park

Wallabies – Slytherin

These little guys definitely had a game plan! They cracked me up with their curiosity and scheming little paws – they’d come right over to me at the window, eye me up and walk away, then rub their little paws together as if they were formulating an evil plan! Now, I’m not saying wallabies or Slytherins are evil, but these little fellas definitely had some kind of cunning plan up their sleeves..!

Mischievous wallabies scheming at Paradise Wildlife Park

Tigers – Gryffindor

I know, I know, why isn’t the lion the Gryffindor? Well, maybe they were too, but the tigers were the ones clearly showing the Gryffindor traits of courage, bravery and determination! This was particularly apparent during feeding time – they were alert and pacing the second the keeper came onto the scene, determined not to miss out on any potential snacks dropped. And the courage – wow! They were cheeky cats! After they’d been fed, they were tapping on the cage walls behind the keeper, like “hey, you! Got any left? I’m a big fella you know, I need more food!” Definitely more of a Gryffindor than a Ravenclaw with his upfrontness!

A very determined tiger angling for another snack at Paradise Wildlife Park

Red pandas – Ravenclaw and Slytherin

There were two, and they each had distinctly different personalities! Red panda number one was a definite Slytherin – he clambered down the tree, worked his charm and got his food, then entirely ignored his keepers, climbed back up the tree and tried to poke his companion out of her sleeping spot on the highest branch of the tree because he wanted to sit there!

Red panda number two was more strategic – she waited until he’d eaten his fill, appeared to give him her sleeping space by moving from it only to go and get food in peace, then sneaking back when she’d had her fill and getting her spot back since she knew he’d have gotten bored of it by then!

A red panda sitting in the tree at Paradise Wildlife Park

Dilophosaurus – Slytherin!

Now, there were some very cooperative dinosaurs – the raptors stood still and smiled for my photos, only moving after I walked away – delightful creatures, really! However, the dilophosaurus was deceptively still, and I was about to take a photo right in front of it when my boyfriend manoeuvred me sharply out of the way and I suddenly saw a ginormous puddle in front of the dinosaur from where the little sneak sprays you from head to toe with water when you get close enough!

Definite Slytherin behaviour, if you ask me!

Do you like visiting zoos? Have you been to Paradise Wildlife Park? I’d definitely recommend it for a day out for any age – I went with my boyfriend, but I know families with children would really enjoy it too! It was also very accessible to people in wheelchairs/with buggies, and had a cafe as well as various picnic spots throughout the park in case you’d brought your own food.

What’s your favourite animal? What house do you think it/your pet would be in? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂




  1. October 28, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    It’s great that you got to check out Paradise Wildlife Park! Love that that the zoo is Potter themed. The wallabies are so cute! Oh man, the tiger looks adorable. It is interesting how these animals are categorized into different houses. I love visiting zoos – haven’t been to one in years!

    Nancy ♥

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:12 pm

      Thanks Nancy, it was a lot of fun! The zoo itself wasn’t Potter themed, I just saw some real similarities to each Potter house in the animals as I went around! Though how awesome would a Harry Potter themed zoo be?! I’d be there all the time, haha! x

  2. October 28, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    I love zoos and I love Harry Potter so a place that is both is just the dream! The red panda is so cute and so is that tiger!

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:13 pm

      I love both too! Oh man, I know – red pandas are just adorable! I wish I could have one as a pet but I think it’s illegal!

  3. October 28, 2018 / 8:25 pm

    That tiger ball feature is so cool! That fact about the human skull freaked me out a bit though! I love the idea of making a zoo Harry Potter themed! Red pandas are adorable!

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      It’s pretty cool, right? Though utterly terrifying – I know they’re strong but seeing that really puts it into perspective! Oh yeah, I’d totally visit a Harry Potter themed zoo ALL the time, haha!

  4. Natsauce
    October 28, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    So informative. Thanks for the great detail.

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      Thanks Nat! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. October 28, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    I do like visiting zoos and I would love to visit this one.
    I love the houses that you’ve sorted the different animals into, I love Harry Potter and next time I go to the zoo I think I’ll be doing this! x

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:16 pm

      They’re a lot of fun, aren’t they? 🙂 Oh brill, I hope you enjoy it! It was funny going around and watching how the animals were behaving to sort them into houses – some of them were really mischievous, haha! x

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:16 pm

      Tigers are great! (Resisting the urge to do a Tony the Tiger “grrrrreat!” pun!!) What’s your fave zoo? 🙂 x

  6. Creative Nails
    October 28, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    I loove visiting zoo’s – it definitely is one my favourite things to do. It’s amazing seeing all the different incredible animals. This one sounds so lovely though, it’s so cool that they have it Harry Potter themed! Also, what you said about the tiger ball is so interesting and the pictures you took are lovely! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • rhiannacampbell
      October 28, 2018 / 11:18 pm

      They’re awesome, aren’t they? Same, I love seeing animals up close – they’re so majestic! This zoo is great as it’s not huge but also not small enough that you’d feel cheated paying for a day ticket! The zoo itself wasn’t Potter themed, but I saw so many little Hogwarts house similarities in the animals, I just had to sort them! Haha!
      Thanks Amy! 🙂 x

      • Creative Nails
        October 28, 2018 / 11:40 pm

        They are! 😍 Zoos like that are so good! You can spend some real time at each enclosure and have a proper look at the animals and as you said, you don’t feel cheated for paying for a day ticket. When they are quite big sometimes it can seem like you need to rush around more to see everything! Ohhh, haha, I misread it 😂 my bad, I blame being tired and wanting to return the comment so it didn’t look bad! Love the idea you had behind it, and maybe a zoo should be Harry potter themed 😛


        • rhiannacampbell
          October 29, 2018 / 1:14 am

          Exactly! Too big and you end up just trying to sprint around it all day 😂 this was just the right size – I think we spent around 3.5 hours ish there and grabbed some food there too!
          Haha, oh I’m terrible for misreading things, don’t worry! 😂
          Lol, yes, maybe we should propose it to someone! 😂

  7. October 28, 2018 / 11:34 pm

    This place looks great and I love your photos! I love watching things like The Secret Life of The Zoo etc on TV, it always fascinates me. Bonus that this place has a section on dinosaurs too, as they’ve always interested me as well. This sounds like my kinda place! If you can tell me that they had meerkats too then I’m 100% sold 😂

    Fab post! 👍

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 29, 2018 / 1:11 am

      Thank you so much! It was a fab little zoo! Yeah, I love shows like that! It’s fascinating seeing how much work goes into each little animal, and seeing their cheeky personalities!
      Haha, yeah – I geeked out a bit in the dino section 🤓 but it was actually really cool!
      LOL, well you’re in for a treat – I spotted meerkats in two sections! Or was it three now?! They were cuddling in one bit, it was super cute!

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 29, 2018 / 1:16 am

      It was really fun! There was keepers speaking about all the animals, exhibits you could touch, and lots of sounds going on so I hope you’d really enjoy it too! 😘Xx

        • rhiannacampbell
          October 29, 2018 / 10:22 am

          I hope so! 😘Xx

  8. October 29, 2018 / 12:00 am

    Ahhh this is such a fun cute post! Now we are even more like long lost sisters as I LOVE Harry Potter and animals too 🙂 This sounds like such a fun day out, for all the family! X

    Kate |

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 29, 2018 / 1:17 am

      Aww, thanks so much! Haha, right?! Harry Potter and animals – what more could anyone need?! Yeah, I’d definitely recommend it! X

  9. October 29, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    This is hilarious! You’re so creative, Rhi. Also, I really want to visit this park.

    Hedgehogs are my favorite animal, and I think they’d be Slytherpuffs, just like me!

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 29, 2018 / 1:52 pm

      Haha, thanks Maraia! I think I knew I’d reached peak nerdiness when I saw a meerkat helping another meerkat down from a rock and went “SUCH a Hufflepuff!” 😂

      I think hedgehogs would be Slytherpuffs too! They know what they want and are cute and kind! 😎

  10. October 29, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    I can never decide how I feel about zoos. Unless they’re keeping animals for conservation purposes, a part of me thinks they’re cruel. It’s great that they’re trying to help endangered species here. I know it’s boring, but my favourite animals are pigs!! I like that they have a theme here to make things a little more interesting! x


    • rhiannacampbell
      October 29, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      Yes, I do agree with you! Especially when you see the animals pacing around the cages looking cooped up 🙁 but yeah, they try to conserve the natural habitat and care for endangered species at Paradise! Aww, pigs are cute! They actually had several big cute snorty pigs who were snoring away! 😂
      Thanks so much, Sophie! X

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 30, 2018 / 11:35 am

      Aw donkeys are so cute!!! Haha, a girl after my own heart – anything HP and I’m there 😂xx

  11. October 30, 2018 / 9:20 am

    Aw I love animals, this sounds like such a fun experience. I can’t believe that the tiger ball looks like that just after being with cubs- imaging what the fully grown tigers would do to it! I’d not heard of Paradise Wildlife Park before but would definitely love to visit if I’m ever that way!

    Soph – x

    • rhiannacampbell
      October 30, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Same! It was fun, I loved the dinosaur bit as it was a bit different to a normal zoo of course! And omg I know, it was quite scary to look at! 🙈 Yeah, definitely drop in if you’re around there!

  12. November 2, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    I would love to visit this zoo. I always enjoy learning about the different types of animals at the zoos I go to.

    • rhiannacampbell
      November 2, 2018 / 7:05 pm

      It’s really fun! I love quirky bits at a zoo that help you learn about the animals and the zoo itself! What’s your favourite zoo? 🙂

      • November 2, 2018 / 7:38 pm

        Either the one in Atlanta or Jacksonville, fl. I’m closest to them and they are really nice!

        • rhiannacampbell
          November 2, 2018 / 9:11 pm

          I’ve never been to either, but I’d love to! One day I’ll get to the States! 💖

  13. voguefauxreal
    November 12, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    What a fun zoo visit! It’s been so long since I’ve been to a zoo (and none with squirting dinosaurs) and we have a couple of good ones in the Dallas, Texas area.

    • rhiannacampbell
      November 22, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      LOL! I’m not surprised you’ve never been to one with squirting dinosaurs! I’d love to visit Texas though, I’ve never been!

  14. January 10, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    Read Pandas are awesome. I mean… We both are Ravenclaw so….

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