We arrived at the arranged time to be greeted by Tiina. She proceeded to show us down the snowy path.
First we came to an enclosure with Arctic foxes. Tiina explained to us their names and how old they were. She told us that their fur is white in Winter and greyer in Summer. They are always born in Spring so are grey as babies. The foxes at Wild Spirit Park were rescued from a fur farm and we were shown the cages the animals were kept in at the fur farm. The enclosures at Wild Spirit Park are much bigger and nicer. Tiina explained that there are only around ten wild Arctic foxes left in Lapland and this is because of the number of red foxes, which are stronger animals.
Next Tiina led us to see the Racoon Dogs. These animals, which look fat actually have a lot of fur. Tiina explained that she has separated the male and female as it is currently mating season and she doesn’t have space for ten babies!
We then went to see a much younger Arctic fox which had come to Wild Spirit Park when it was only weeks old. It was a little bit of a sad story because the boy fox had died of a tumour and left the girl on her own. Arctic foxes tend to only have one partner through life so Tiina was unsure how the girl would take to her introducing a new male.
After the fox, we went to see some huge pigs! Tiina got out a bucket of food and any one who wanted to could feed the greedy pigs! We were interested to learn that they eat most things but hate mushrooms. Their favourite food is strangely fish!
We were then led up the snowy path to a tiny door. We all went in the door and found ourselves in a Lappish hut with reindeer fur lined benches around an open fire, which Tiina lit. She then showed us pictures of animals that had been at the park over the years and told us about them.
Next it was time to meet the Huskies! It was obvious the dogs loved their owner and were well groomed and looked after. They go out on Safaris but they aren’t made to run all the time, Summer is a holiday for them and they have lots of rest days through the Winter.
Tiina told us all their names and let the kids pet the least shy dogs. The children had great fun spending some time with the Huskies.
Last of all we were taken to the goat enclosure! There were two large and playful goats who the children thought were hilarious. Tiina got one to climb on her back and they couldn’t stop laughing!
We had a great time at Wild Spirit Park. It was lovely to see all the animals and Tiina was very accomodating and informative. It is well worth the price of €10 per adult and €5 per child.
Taking a child with Autism to Wild Spirit Park?
To visit you must message to arrange a time. This means it is not usually busy. When we were shown round, there was one other family with us.
If your child finds animals calming, they will like it here.
You get to pet the dogs, feed the pigs and have a goat stand on you if you want to, but this is all optional.
The hut contains an open fire.
The Arctic foxes could bite if you put your fingers through the cages.
We found this place ideal as it involved animals and was not at all crowded.
Wild Spirit Park is in Ivalo, Finland. They run Husky Safaris as well as tours of the animal park so it is necessary to message, either on facebook or by email to arrange a visit. The email address is: email@example.com.
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