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!)
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!
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..!
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!
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!
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! 🙂