I have been wanting to do this forever, the Friday Shoot out topic this week gave me a reason to do it NOW. Camillo and I had a business appointment downtown early Thursday morning and because the Zoo is close we stopped by. I can’t say I was surprised by this zoo, I did not have high expectations and it didn’t prove me wrong. I would say on a scale of 1 – 10 of zoos I have been to, this one was 3. Camillo said a 1.
The entrance is quite nice. Built on the grounds of the former king’s summer home there are remnants of grander times gone by. The admittance fee was only R$6.00 – mid week discount – student price. I would be willing to pay R$ 10.00 if that meant the zoo had been a little better maintained (maintenance is never a Brasilian strong suite)There were not maps given out or even sold …. there was this hard-to-figure-out grounds plan just inside the entrance, so without a something to guide us, we just walked slowly around and it took us about an hour. I don’t particularly like to make comparisons but just on size – I have spent 3 hours in the Houston Zoo and only seen half of the animals, so this one is quite small.
Maybe my attitude about zoos is just evolving but I hated seeing the few animals that were there behind chicken wire fences. I was depressed and they seemed depressed. Many of the animals that I know live in groups or families, were alone. Too many times to count, when they noted my interest they turned their backs on me …. See the little guy up on the little house, doesn’t he look like he is up there to look out at the trees on the other side of the brick fence…..?
There was one elephant, and two giraffes but in separate areas. Am I projecting? But are they depressed living alone without their families? About half the available pens were empty. A few areas were closed for repairs. We saw 3 large snakes, a branch of turtles, one alligator, one brown and one black bear. And one really fine tree.
and lots and lots of exotic birds.