14 August 2010

A Visit to Barcelona Zoo

While J's kids are with us, we try to find some activities for them to do, other than the usual swimming at the beach and table tennis - although there's nothing wrong with those 2 activities!

We've taken them to a few zoos around the world - Berlin (both the central zoo and the tierpark), Melbourne, Currumbin (on Australia's Gold Coast) and Auckland - so we decided that Barcelona Zoo would be a logical step, before they both get too old to be entertained by such trivial activities.

Barcelona Zoo website in English, Català and Castellano.

The zoo is an easy tram ride for us, and is located at the Vila Olimpica end of the Ciutadella which also houses the seat of the Catalonian Parliament, as well as beautiful park grounds.  The Ciutadella Park is worth a separate post at a later date, but I digress!

As far as zoos go, Barcelona's is well laid out in big spacious gardens with lots of areas for visitors to picnic in between looking at the animals.  We were lucky to time our visit to the reptile house just after the snakes had been fed, and watched in morbid fascination as one of the big pythons finished swallowing a rabbit.  The snakes were quite active because the food.

Here are some of the better photos that I took that day.

Pensive monkey

Chimpanzee with the best seat in the house

This python had just swallowed a rabbit

I was happy that there was glass between us!

A baby Orangutan sleeps suspended in a comfy bed of straw and rope

Lurking Alligator

The bear looked really depressed to us

There were peacocks everywhere showing off their feathers

Meerkat on the lookout mound

13 ducklings - 13!  She managed to keep track of all of them

A Pygmy Hippopotamus

Crouching Bison, sleeping bison

Sleeping king of the pride

We don't know what this is, but it's smaller than the one we saw swimming in the river in Florence, Italy!


Pandabonium said...

The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
They're dumb.

Some of these look like members of my family. :^)

nzm said...

Good old Simon and Garfunkel!

There were no pandas. :.(

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Absolutely fabulous photographs, up close and personal. I've downloaded a couple to send to our grandkids. I really like animals to be in the wild, but I guess this is where ordinary people can see them, appreciate the wonders of the world.

nzm said...

Thanks Wendy.

Unfortunately in today's world, good zoos have a purpose in the ongoing conservation of animal species. If it wasn't for some of the zoo breeding programmes, a lot more animals would be under threat of extinction or lower population numbers.

I got talking to a keeper in the lemur section at Melbourne Zoo. She gave me a whole lot of info on what is done. For instance, zoos with good reputations and strong breeding successes will loan their animals to other zoos so that breeding bloodlines are varied.

Asian Tigers are actually being introduced to some African reserves nowadays, because their own continent has become too risky to ensure their continued survival. A few years ago, 18 tigers went missing from a reserve in Rajasthan, India and this is in an area where they should have been protected.

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