|Elephant in Tierpark Hellabrunn, Munich|
Since my little boy came on the scene, I've become a regular visitor to the Perth Zoo. (Hmm, I should probably blog about that since I'm always rattling on about enticing people to Perth - and it's a great zoo!) We went again this week, and I'm always glad we have a "Zoo Friend" pass so that we can go back for lots of short visits any time during the year, rather than trying to see everything at once - mostly because not everything is there to see at once! Naturally, this is a Good Thing - the animals live in increasingly natural environments (not the concrete I remember from my childhood) and that means they're sometimes hiding away, as they would in the wild. (But don't worry too much: the sea gulls are always waiting on the picnic area, and the small boy loves to chase them. He'd probably be happy if that was all he did!)
However ... it reminded me of my visit to the Tierpark Hellabrunn - basically the Munich Zoo - when I lived in Germany. I had a fantastic day at this zoo because I could see everything. If I look through these photos, I can see why - the attempts to naturalise the environments are nowhere near as extensive as they are at the Perth Zoo.
Of course, my preference is for the animals to be comfortable, to feel "at home" as much as possible, to live in environments that more or less feel like home. Minus the TV. (Kidding!) But there's still a part of me that loves being able to know that if I go to the zoo to see the giraffes, I will see the giraffes, and get a good view of them. (Okay, giraffes are a bad example, it's hard for them to hide. Delete and replace with lions/bears/monkeys, please!).
Anyway, I'm in two minds, but if you do want to have a great look at some gorgeous animals I'd still recommend a stop by the Tierpark Hellabrunn if you're anywhere near Munich. Apparently it's one of the biggest zoos in Europe and it really does have lots of cute furry things to look at!
Where is your favourite zoo, and why? Let me know in the comments ...