Since I’m now based in Dublin for the forseeable future, it was about time I got around to visiting the city’s zoo. It’s actually a new one for me, despite previous visits, so I was eager to see what it was like.
As ever, there’s not much to say since may modern zoos are much of a muchness (I really am sick of Asian short clawed otters, Sulawesi macaques, Siberian tigers and stick insects – is there any zoo that doesn’t have these?). Still, there were some nice mixed exhibits like the giant African Savannah (with giraffes, ostrich, zebra and scimitar horned oryx together), large numbers of some big animals (6 gorillas, 6 white rhino, 6 indian elephant) which is nice, a few ‘new’ taxa for me (arctic foxes and ) and some good little education bits scattered around the place. Finally pretty much every single exhibit was large and well kept, well suited to the animal and all the animals looked happy (I’ve rarely seen such active sealions or gibbons for example).
On the negative side the signs were few and far between (both on the enclosures and maps) and there were lots of dead end paths and wasted space. In some places it was remarkably difficult to see the animals (beyond good cover which is essential, I mean the enclosures were miles away from the viewing areas for no good reason) and there was a lot of wasted space (three huge lakes with no waterfowl on them but local ducks).
All in all, well worth a visit if you are in the area, but don’t expect much out of the ordinary. The place is a little too full of ‘classics’ (lion, zebra, lemurs, giraffe, crocodile) and rather short on the weird and wonderful that will be of more interest to most reader here I imagine.