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A safari for all seasons.

The summer holidays feel like a dim and distant memory, it's wet outside and the children are restless. So you'll be relieved to hear help is just along the motorway - at Knowsley Safari. "Visitors are often surprised to learn Knowsley Safari is an all-weather attraction," says Rachel Scott, the park's head of marketing. "There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy even if it's pouring down."

TripAdvisor reviews back up Rachel's view, with user Helen W recently describing Knowsley Safari as "lots of fun, even on a rainy day" while Missashbash_11 recalls a "fun day out, even in the rain!" Wet weather is threatening as Alex McKenzie, 44, of Woolton, Merseyside, arrives with her daughter Emily, eight, sister Helen McAnenny, 40, and Helen's kids Molly, eight, Orla, six, and Connor, three. But the drab skies are no match for the lush landscape of the safari park - the third largest in Europe. As the families board the Baboon Bus, the children's excitement is infectious.

It is the perfect way to see all the youngsters' favourites, from lions to giraffes. But today it's the fallow deer, currently busy with mating season, that attract their attention as bucks battle it out for their favourite doe.

After the bus ride, the children scare themselves silly at the park's Bat Forest, a dimly-lit and cavernous palace for the park's bat community. Then there are death-defying aerobatic feats at the Birds of Prey Centre, where the group watch an incredible Flight of the Talons display. "Wow," gasps Emily as an eagle dips and soars. "You can see why they call these birds the hunters of the skies!" By now the rain has begun in earnest. Not that it affects the hungry group as they enjoy a late lunch in the rainforest-themed Oasis restaurant, which serves mouthwatering hot meals from just PS3.45.

After giving the delicious dishes a big thumbs up, the families move on to the highlight of Connor's day: the Sea Lion Display, where California sea lions Biffo, Arthur, Reggie and Roger show off the incredible way they use their whiskers for sensing touch and texture, and judging size.

Still chatting excitedly about the display, the group leaves the building to find that, finally, the rain has stopped, leaving just enough time for a few fairground rides before they head home happy, with full bellies - and completely dry.

During October half term, Knowsley Safari will slash online ticket prices in half! Go to knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk Fast Facts ? Anyone who has ever suffered through pregnancy will have every sympathy for the female fallow deer, the doe, who usually produces one fawn every year over a breeding life of around 10 years.

. ? Contrary to popular belief, some bats are not actually blind - in fact many have exceptional eyesight! ? Ever wondered how bats can zoom around so quickly without flying into things? They're equipped with a built-in sonar system which allows them to navigate at break-neck speeds through the total darkness. ? Sea lions' whiskers 'whisk' the air 25 times every second, providing a host of sensory signals which they use for survival. ? Did you know that you can adopt animals which live at Knowsley Safari? For more information go online to knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk /adoptions HANDS UP FOR FUN: Young thrill-seekers on one of the park's rides FLIPPIN'FASCINATIN': An encounter with a California sea lion

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REALLYWILD : Lions and a baboon at Knowsley Safari
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2015
Words:570
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