Sunday, May 13, 2012

Amsterdam Artis Royal Zoo

Several blogs ago, we explored some of the fascinating things that the world famous San Diego Zoo offers visitors. In this blog, I will be highlighting one of my very favorite zoo institutions in the world, the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

This zoo is one of Europe's very oldest, and presents an interesting green, natural contrast to the commotion and canals of the city. However, this zoo is not only renowned for its age or location, but also some very unique features and innovative exhibit designs. Artis features over 700 animal species in various structures (aquarium, butterfly pavilion, and insectarium, etc-. Additionally, as someone who is very interested in animal habitat design and enrichment, Artis does a world-class job with creating unique animal-visitor interactions through exhibits. For example, after visitors go through the main entrance, the plaza opens up to a large outdoor exhibit with camels and yaks. But, the exhibit does not have a fence or any guardrails, rather a skinny, shallow moat encircling the exhibit, so visitors feel very close to the animals, with no "artificial" barriers. I was particularly impressed with another excellent example, the ring-tailed lemur exhibit. This incredible exhibit was an open area through which visitors could actually walk. 

There were no fences, no guardrails, no cages, no barriers at all, and the lemurs could swing beside visitors or walk alongside them, often during feedings when they came down from the trees. This was truly a fantastic experience, and a real treat for zoo-goers who become frustrated with thick-glassed exhibits. 

Enjoy the pictures, and consider strongly visiting the Artis Royal Zoo when traveling through Amsterdam.

No comments:

Post a Comment