There are several places in Malta that allow my mind to rest, but Wildlife Park Mtahleb tops my list. I am not a fan of the circus or zoos, but from my very first visit, back in January 2016. What drew me to this place. I know that many nowadays say that wild animals should be kept in the wild.
As much as I agree with such a statement, unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that majestic creatures are killed, their homes are bulldozed. Some end up under the ownership of people in order to receive profits. Another thing to consider is that these beautiful creatures, not only may not have a place in the wild due to human greed. Also, they are born from parents and grandparents who have not been in the wild and know humans more than the wild.
The Wildlife Park Mtahleb experience
This place opened my eyes to a very different reality. Which I am very grateful for. Unfortunately, there are many that see a situation involving people and wild animals as a black and white situation, even though there is a lot of grey. This is not a place where profits are made from visitors paying a small fee at the door, or when they go and eat at the cozy restaurant. This park is literally the back garden of a family. When visiting such a place, you realize that you are not simply in a commercial place, but you are actually entering into a home, a home to those who own and run this place, and a home to all the extended family, who come in all shapes and sizes.
It was not only the physical appearance, service, and the obvious presence of incredible creatures that made this place special to me. There is what one may refer to as a positive energy that surrounded this place, for which the family that runs the park, can be credited.
It’s not just business
Although the park is a licensed zoo and meets all the regulations, to the family it is not a business. They live day and night for this place. It is their passion and I am very grateful to them that they have shared this passion with the public. Christopher and Oksana, dedicate their entire lives not only to the running of this little paradise but have a special bond with each animal which they consider to be part of their family.
I still remember the first time I watched Christopher walk into Massay’s enclosure. He walked up to him, gave him a pat on the side of his mane, followed by a kiss. My heart must have stopped a few beats and everything seemed to pause around me. I then realized that it wasn’t the fact that a man walked in and touched a lion, that seemed so special to me, but it was the emotional connection of a human being and such a great creature like a lion, that froze the moment.
During your first visit, you will be given a tour around the park and will be introduced to each member of the family. There are several species of monkeys, birds, wild cats, and even a very adorable and playful couple of bears; Miss Yogi and Mr. Padi. The park has a restaurant area, which if you wish to have a meal, it is best to call and make a reservation.
If you wish to find out more about any of the fascinating members, you may ask the staff or Christopher and Oksana themselves. They will happily answer any questions and should you wish to find out the background stories of any of the animals, they will happily tell you all about them! I try my best to visit this place at least once a month, and during my visits, there is always so much to catch up on, likes the lives of the animals.
The Wildlife Park in Mtahleb is a great place for kids to learn not only about the animals. They have the chance to see that there is a way for people and animals to find a connection with one another. To me, all the magnificent creatures are unique. It is very hard to say which is my favourite, mainly because each one has a very distinct character.
The members of the family at The Wildlife Park
Lynxes – Romeo and Julietta
Puma Concolors – Casper and Maya
Leopard & Black Panther – Buddy and his partner Baghera
Bengal Tigers – Hero, Zuzulka, Lentilka, Lola, Lily and Tinya. Lola and Lilly were the firstborn tigers in Malta, Tinya is their younger brother. As of recently, 4 male cubs were born from Hero and Zuzulka.
White Tigers – Bianca and Adon
Lion & Lioness – Massay and his partner Chanel
This place is a little paradise for me. Thank you, Christopher, Oksana, and their entire family for giving all of us the chance to enter this paradise. Thank you for doing everything that all of you do and most importantly, thank you for showing me firsthand that there is a way for people and animals to respect one another and have a connection.