Lisbon Zoo: Wilderness comes to town
Lisbon, the biggest city in Portugal, has a lot of things to offer to tourists and locals alike. In addition to the captivating historical sites and natural tourist destinations that should not be missed in the city, another must-see is Lisbon Zoo, or Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa, a place that definitely speaks of how the city values nature and life.
Lisbon Zoo was established in 1884 and is now one of the best zoological collections in the world. Located in Sete Rios, Quinta das Laranjeiras, the Zoo covers 16 hectares of land, housing over 2,000 animals, reptiles and birds from more than 300 species. The Zoo was established to promote conservation, and reproduction of endangered species, including zebras, tigers, kangaroos, elephants, crocodiles, flamingos, hippos and so much more.
Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa does not only offer visitors an opportunity to see a wide range of animal species up close, but also a chance to marvel at the fascinating botanical gardens, in which the it is located. Visitors can also take picnics at some of the secluded gardens in the area. But what is probably the best thing about the Lisbon Zoo is that it is not only a traditional zoo, but a place where amusement and education are encouraged.
Daily presentations are offered that will surely make every visit a memorable one, these include Dolphin and Sea Lion Shows. The Dolphin Show, which started in 1995, is now one of the most popular attractions of the Zoo and is one of the best Dolphin Shows in the world. Another highly anticipated show is the Sea Lion Show, which features affable and well-trained sea lions doing some breathtaking acrobatics. During the show, the coach also teaches about the different habits of these fascinating animals and their natural habitat. Other presentations that visitors can also enjoy include Pelican Feeding, Free Flying Birds demonstration, in the Enchanted Forest, and Snake and Lizards shows. With all these activities, the Zoo definitely offers a lot of things that allow visitors not only to learn but to be entertained as well.
Lisbon Zoo also showcases some special areas, including: the Reptile House, where tourists can find different kinds of turtles, snakes, exotic fish and lizards; the Animax, where amusement parks, shops and bars are located; the Children’s Farm, which features a range of animals found in farms; and the Rainbow Park, a playground area that’s only available during the weekends and holidays.
Although one of the best ways to explore Jardim Zoologico is by foot, there are also faster and less tiring ways that visitors can take to explore it. For those who want to get a bird’s eye view of the animals lounging around and get a view of the city, they can take the cable car that passes around the entire zoo. There is also a train available for those who are afraid of heights.