Sun rises on Dublin zoo
Last week I had the pleasure of being one of a handful of bloggers invited to visit Dublin Zoo before the arrival of visitors for the day. The 'behind the scenes' morning was cool and crisp, perfectly quiet but for the occasional screech or bellow of wild animals. Being there early in the morning really brought the incredible amount of upkeep and work that the animals need into perspective. The zookeepers all presented as incredibly hard-working and devoted people, who knew their animals as well as if they were close family. Some keepers were even able to trace the hereditary line of their 'pets' back further than I could my own Granny's!
We got to watch the zoo keepers feeding breakfast to the animals, including this grumpy orangutan, who showed his ingratitude at the earlier than usual start by hurling a rock at us bloggers!
Arriving as we did with breakfast helped us to get closer than usual to the animals. This tiger in particular was happy to parade in front of the spotlight for the sake of his stomach.
If anything he got a little too close.... Ahhhhh!
This was my first visit to the Dublin zoo in about ten years so I found myself in a good position to really appreciate the many changes that have taken place there. And there has been many. Dublin zoo has developed from a previously rather mediocre park to a world-class standard sanctuary. The housing of the animals has improved ten-fold, as has the layout and design of the park itself. The zoo is run in the spirit of conservation and education, rather than of spectacle, with the animals coming first, and visitors second. Ironically the relegation of the visitor actually works to heighten their experience. I left the zoo in high spirits, knowing and appreciating the level of care that the animals enjoy at their Irish home.
All in all the zoo is a great day out, in particular for young families, like the one shown below :) It is a fantastic place to both educate and entertain kids. Unlike many attractions, that suffer from the Been There Done That badge, the zoo can be revisited time and time again throughout the year to check in on the animals' development, new arrivals and the many positive changes taking place at the park. An annual family pass is available and is well worth the money, particularly if you are living near to the Phoenix park.
For more information on Dublin zoo, its projects, events and inhabitants Click here.