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Alison Cornford-Matheson's Animal encounters

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Whether it's furry, feathered, scaly or fluffy, I love animals. Here are some of the best places to see them in captivity and in the wild.
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Koningin Astridplein 20-26, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
With its super-convenient location, right beside Antwerp's central train station, there's no excuse not to visit the Antwerp Zoo. The zoo is very well maintained despite its age (circa 1853) and city-centre location. The animal habitats are...
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Rue de la Sablonnière 2, 5503 Dinant, Belgium
While fields of sheep, cattle and horses are common sights in rural Belgium, you may do a double-take while passing by L'Autrucherie du Pont d'Amour, near Dinant. Yes those giant birds are ostriches (and a few emus, rheas and cassowaries). The...
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Domaine de Cambron, 7940 Brugelette, Belgium
A former Cistercian Abbey doesn't seem a likely place to find elephants, giraffes and cheetahs, but that's exactly where you'll find Pairi Daiza Zoo and Botanical Garden. This 55-hectare (140-acre) park is one of Wallonia‘s top attractions and...
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Station House, Dart Bridge Rd, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DZ, UK
Otters and Butterflies may seem like an unlikely combination, but you'll find them together at the Buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary, in Dartmoor National Park. I can think of few animals more adorable to watch than playful otters,...
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Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
The weird and wonderful pile of rock, known as Gibraltar, is worth a day-trip if you are visiting Andalusia, Spain. There are plenty of strange sights: the airport runway crossing the main street, a concert hall inside a cave and miles of tunnels...
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Jalan Besar Orangutan, Bukit Lawang, Bohorok, Sampe Raya, Bohorok, Langkat Regency, North Sumatra 20774, Indonesia
After bathing elephants in the beautiful Batang Serangan river, my friends from Barcelona and I return to Green Lodge for a mid morning coffee.The dining area at Green Lodge is a solid construction made from re claimed timber, its entrance firmly...
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Bohol, Philippines
Often mistakenly dubbed as the "world's smallest monkey," the Philippine Tarsier ranks as one of the smallest primates in the world. Closely related to lemurs, these shy, delicate creatures literally fit in the palm of your hand. This was taken at...
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Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana’s most famous crafts are baskets woven from fan palm fibers. They are dyed with natural pigments: blue from fever-berry leaves, dark brown from magic guarri shrubs, and yellow from the roots of red star apple trees. Some baskets take a...
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Sabah Wildlife Department, W.D.T. 200, Sandakan, Jalan Sepilok, Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
There are only two places left on earth you can see orangutans in the wild and one of them is Borneo. One special place in Sandakan, in the northern Sabah province of Malaysia, is helping protect these incredible animals - the Sepilok Orang Utan...
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89740 Kuala Penyu, Sabah, Malaysia
Malaysian Borneo is a wildlife lover's dream. There are weird and wonderful species found in the province of Sabah, unlike anywhere else in the world. One of the most famous inhabitants is the Proboscis Monkey, easily identified by their prominent...
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Látrabjarg, Iceland
Látrabjarg is home to millions of puffins, but you must have a good day for taking photos and most importantly must be available during the evening. During the day they are on the ocean looking for fish. Our time there was very rainy and extremely...