Monday, March 31, 2008

Prague Zoological Gardens

Hi Everyone,

This past weekend, my husband and I and some of our friends all met and visited the Prague Zoological Gardens, located in Troja, Prague 7. We were there on Saturday (March 29, 2008), though the weather was more spring-like, it was still pretty windy and chilly, and rain threatened. We just wore good jackets and took umbrellas with us. This was really the first nice weekend in about 3 weeks! People were coming to visit the zoo in droves. We heard that there were over 8,000 people who visited the zoo that day! That’s not including their dogs…there must have been twice the number of dogs also visiting with their owners!! This was a bit shocking! Every zoo that I have visited in the US does not allow our four-legged pets to visit with us! But all the dogs that we saw at the Prague Zoo last Saturday seemed to be very well-behaved and friendly with each other. It was really nice to see. And none of the zoo animals seemed to be afraid of the dogs. There so many kids there, too, of course! It was pretty crowded in all the exhibits. But this did not detract from the fun atmosphere or the prettiness of the environment there at the zoo.

Prague’s zoo is really more than pretty—it is beautiful as it sits on the hill above the Vtlava. The zoo actually goes almost right down to the river. So, while you are walking the zoo paths, you come across areas where it is possible to see the river and parts of the city of Prague. It is really very beautiful. Most of the time you feel as if you’re out in the country while at the zoo. The grounds are very well-maintained and very clean. I’m very sure that later in the spring, the zoo will be bursting with flowers everywhere! It will be a sight to see…we are planning on going back for another visit when the spring is farther along.

The zoo boasts a montage of 4,600 animals, from 630 different species from around the world. The animals on exhibit seemed to be very healthy, happy, and they were all very pretty/handsome (as the case may be!). Since it is now just early spring, many of the animals were in their winter quarters. The giraffes were in a huge winter barn where visitors could view them. I’m not sure how many giraffes they have, but this zoo is noted for successful breeding of these and many other animals, including gorillas. One of the cutest gorillas there is named Moja born November 26, 2007. She is very cute—she and her mom were playing near the visitor’s window, while dad was sitting on a shelf and looking rather forlorn! He looked a little bit hurt at not being the center of attention—everyone was busy gawking at his baby! The zoo is also well-known for its conservation efforts of the Przewalski horse, which is the only truly wild horse left in the world.

The zoo has many wonderful pavilions for everything from Africa to the rainforests of the Amazon. Each building is unique and very elaborate. The animals of the Amazon exhibit has a representation of the river life that can be found there (in the Amazon), including one huge Anaconda! There is also the pachyderm building where we able to see the rhinos and elephants. And there were many bird exhibits where we saw 2 different kinds of flamingoes, owls, African and domestic ducks. Every place we saw was very clean—the animals all looked very happy, except for the pelicans! It was nearing closing time, and their keeper was in their pen trying to round them up. But, the pelicans didn’t want to go inside just yet! It was funny to see their keeper trying to herd the birds…the birds were almost as tall as he was, but he was able to finally coerce them to go inside! At another exhibit, the zebras and other grazing animals were already lined up on the ramp that leads to their indoor enclosures…I’m sure they were ready for their supper!

We very much enjoyed our time at the zoo. I love animals, so this was a perfect trip for me…I’m just like a little kid looking at all the animals! My husband also loves animals, so it really was the ideal outing on such a fine spring day! I would very highly recommend a visit to see the zoo as part of any tourist visit to Prague. It is a nice break from the city—not far from the main tourist attractions of Old Town Square and Prague Castle. The zoo is a very nice way to relax from the jungle of the city, to see some very beautiful scenery and very exotic animals from all around the globe.

Well, that’s all for now…I hope you all have a great day!!!

God bless,
© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath

All photos property of S. A. Vacik

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