Polar Park Arctic Wildlife Center – The world’s northernmost animal park and home to Norway’s large predators such as bears, wolves, and lynx as well as deer, moose, reindeer and muskox.
Polar Park is an animal park in Bardu municipality in the county of Troms.
Opened in 1994, the park is based on exhibiting animals in their
natural surroundings which means that each species also gets a lot of
room to romp around.
With 1100 dekar (1 dekar = 1000 square meters) in only 12 enclosures,
the Polar Park is one of the animal parks in the world with the most
area per animal.
It feels like we are taking a walk in the wilderness as we walk the paths around the various enclosures. It is a beautiful area and the snow covered mountains rise all around us. There is a wolf enclosure that has a cottage available for guests to rent where you can howl with the wolves!
Polar Park is more than a traditional zoo. They place great emphasis on animal welfare and give animals large areas to create a habitat as natural as possible for the animals.
Nara Park (奈良公園Nara Kōen) is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan.. Established in 1880 it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. Nara is known for the oldest, largest and most interesting temples and the 1,200 wild sika deer (シカ or 鹿shika) that freely roam around in the park, protected as natural treasures. The official size of the park is about 1,240 acres, the area including the grounds of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine, which are either on the edge or surrounded by Nara Park, is as large as 1,600 acres.
Nara’s temples include such world famous UNESCO World Heritage listed temples such as Kofukuji, Todaiji Kasuga Shrine and Yakushiji which will be featured in this website. Please click on the pictures for more information on the photos.
Kōfuku-ji has its origin as a temple that was established in 669 by Kagami-no-Ōkimi (鏡大君), the wife of Fujiwara no Kamatari, wishing for her husband’s recovery from illness. Its original site was in Yamashina, Yamashiro Province (present-day Kyoto). In 672, the temple was moved to Fujiwara-kyō, the first planned Japanese capital to copy the orthogonal grid pattern of Chang’an. In 710 the temple was dismantled for the second time and moved to its present location, on the east side of the newly constructed capital, Heijō-kyō, today’s Nara.
Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple) is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿Daibutsuden) houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the BuddhaVairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism.
The path to Kasuga Shrine passes through Deer Park where the deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine and surrounding mountainous terrain. Kasuga Shrine and the deer have been featured in several paintings and works of art of the Nambokucho Period. Over three thousand stone lanterns line the way.
The original Yakushi-ji was built in Fujiwara-kyō, Japan’s capital in the Asuka period, commissioned by Emperor Tenmu in 680 to pray for recovery from illness for his consort, who succeeded him as Empress Jitō. This act of building temples in devotion to Buddhist figures was a common practice among Japanese nobility when Buddhism was first imported from China and Korea. Emperor Tenmu had died by the time Empress Jitō completed the complex around 698; and it was disassembled and moved to Nara eight years after the Imperial Court settled in what was then the new capital.
Komodo Island Gallery
A visit to the Komodo Island is a chance to see the largest of the monitor lizards, or called Komodo Dragons. Deer are on the island, as well as interesting birds wild orchids and giant spiders. There are many beaches one with pick sand! snorkeling or scuba diving one can see numerous beautiful fish, clams, corals and turtles. A recent article in Sport Diver April 2015 Entitled “Komodo-An Underwater Amazon” highlights many of the underwater treasures. sportdiver.com
The people who live on the island are very friendly and many are tasked as guides as we walk around the island so we are in no danger from the Dragons.
Average life span in the wild:
10 ft (3 m)
330 lbs (150 kg)
Did you know?
Komodo dragons can run up to 11 mph (18 kph) in short bursts.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years, although amazingly, their existence was unknown to humans until about 100 years ago.
Reaching 10 feet (3 meters) in length and more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms), Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth. They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.
As the dominant predators on the handful of islands they inhabit, they will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans. When hunting, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience, lying in wait for passing prey. When a victim ambles by, the dragon springs, using its powerful legs, sharp claws and serrated, shark-like teeth to eviscerate its prey.
Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly. Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning. Dragons calmly follow an escapee for miles as the bacteria takes effect, using their keen sense of smell to hone in on the corpse. A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.
There is a stable population of about 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo dragons on the islands of Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores. However, a dearth of egg-laying females, poaching, human encroachment, and natural disasters has driven the species to endangered status.