Snow leopard cubs are cute Oasis stars

Feeding time.

Feeding time.

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It was all about the snow leopard cubs on a recent family trip out to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis near Milnthorpe.

The mini independent zoo is set out into sections, taking you through a timeline of life going back 3,000 million years.

One of the highlights are the woodcutter ants, marching endlessly along ropes that connect trays of fruit and leaves and another room houses lizards, frogs and tortoises, and bats hanging from the ceiling. Just watch you don’t spend too much time underneath them.

The main attractions however are outside.

The zoo prides itself on being part of international breeding programmes and keeps some of the world’s most threatened species, including the snow leopard.

The meercats never fail to lift the spirits with their cute and inquisitive ways, and we even manage to get up close and personal, being allowed to stand in their walled off little home at feeding time.

We didn’t know what to expect with the two new arrivals – snow leopard cubs Loki and Luna – assuming they’d be holed up inside dozing. And they were nowhere to be seen at first, their parents Pavan and Tara pacing the ground, or lounging on top of the perspex tunnel that takes you through their compound and allows a great view of the big cats. But all of a sudden they came bounding out, much to the delight of our children, who were captivated by their playful ways, the male, Loki, dominating the fighting, and chasing Luna around, pushing her over, and mock clawing. This was a real treat and we felt lucky to have witnessed this explosion of personality.

Before long they settled down on top of the tunnel with their parents, allowing us some great picture opportunities.

There was plenty more to see including the endangered fossa, from Madagascar, and beautifully coloured birds.

l More information at www.wildlifeoasis.co.uk.