Prague Zoo is located a few kilometers north of the city center of Prague. It was established in 1931 and is one of the largest zoos in Europe covering an area greater than 100 acres.
The zoo is situated in a gorge with the steep rocky sides of an escarpment rising above. On top of the escarpment is a flat area covered in rolling grasslands. Meandering beside the zoo is the Vltava River.
This undulating landscape adds to the beauty of the zoo and enables the construction of diverse habitats for the huge range of animals on display. Views from the top of the escarpment are spectacular. If you are unable to physically make the walk to the top there is a cable car that will transport you the 51 meters to the peak.
The zoo is home to over 5000 animals comprising more than 650 species. These include penguins, sea lions, tigers, elephants, red pandas, gorillas, even polar bears and the list goes on.
Most of the organisms are housed in enclosures that mimic their natural environment. An example is the very natural mountainous habitat created for the Ibex.
In 2002, the zoo experienced severe flooding and afterwards underwent extensive renovations that greatly improved the animal enclosures and amenities.
The zoo has an extensive breeding program that has been very successful. Specialized breeding can be traced back to 1938 when an Andean vulture was born and raised successfully. Other successful breeding programs have resulted in the birth of gorillas, polar bears and giraffes.
Another very interesting feature is the African and Indonesian jungle themed areas, with their lush tropical plants and atmosphere. There is also an area dedicated to children where they are able to interact with a select group of mainly domesticated animals and take part in a variety of fun activities. A very informative education center is located close to the main center, which was built after the flood.
There are several bird aviaries housing numerous bird species, including vultures, parrots, eagles and another area housing lots of creepy crawlies.
The zoo is the most popular tourist attraction in the Czech Republic. There are plenty of areas to eat including the Archa restaurant and other amenities are of a good standard.
There is so much to see and do at the zoo that visitors should leave several hours to properly view as many of the exhibits and animals as possible. It is also wise to plan your day ahead and to view the daily timetable for any significant daily events.
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