Five Sisters Zoo is a family run zoo based in West Calder (Scotland). This isn’t your typical animal attraction. It features a lot of rescue animals and that gives it more the feel of a sanctuary than your typical zoo.
In recent years they have rescued animals from some pretty horrendous conditions, which has only been made possible through national appeals for donations. Our favourite animal here, and one that tugs at my heart strings are the lions, I could literally spend the entire visit just watching them. They were rescued from a French circus in 2014 and these boys are HUGE! They were castrated and de-clawed at a very young age which means they have never grown manes and they are also bigger in size because of the early castration. Five sisters raised £150,000 to get them to their new home and apart from some local residents complaining about the noise from their roar, they have settled in so well. They lived in a small trailer all their lives so to see them in their new enclosure is amazing and as you can see from the pictures, they are beautiful, happy boys now.
It’s quite difficult to get clear pictures through the fence
Most of the enclosures are outside but there is a lovely cosy reptile house which is very welcoming in the winter months. They have a great hands-on area outside, too, all the favourites are in there, bunnies, guinea pigs, goats etc.
Another favourite of mine is the leaf-cutting ants. I find it amazing watching their food getting torn apart and then marching to their nest, such focused little insects. They are so fascinating. Probably not everyone’s favourite and, as it turns out, not so easy to photograph.
We didn’t visit the cafe this time but we have done on previous visits and the food was reasonably priced and really tasty. I know Christmas is a long way off but I think it’s worth mentioning that they also do an illuminations ticket during the festive period. We didn’t stay until it was really dark but the lights were on when we were there in the daytime and it looked really professionally done, I’ll definitely be returning this year to see them. There is also a huge new indoor play being built, our girls will be too big for that now but they loved the previous one so I’m sure the new one will be bigger and better!
The zoo is very reasonably priced, £34 for 2 adults, 2 children (under 3’s go free). We are so lucky that hubby gets a free pass through his work but I always leave a donation as you know it’s going straight back into the care of the animals. Animal handling and feeding sessions are available, we haven’t tried the feeding sessions yet but we have tried the handling sessions and Katie really enjoyed it.
It’s nice to visit somewhere that you know is a family run business with not a huge amount of staff and their main focus is animals and not entrance fees. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in Scotland.