Rainforests, Rhinosceri, and the Elephant Thunderdome: My Day at Zoo Zurich

You guys, Zoo Zurich is the best. Zoo. Ever. I have never been to a zoo that has allowed me to get closer to a more diverse range of animals in their natural habitats, just bein’ themselves. Every inch of it is thoughtfully designed with humans and animals in mind. What gives the animals the most healthy and harmonious environment? What allows us to view the animals and learn about them without feeling like we’re in a zoo?

I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

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Welcome to the Penguin Haus! I loved having the chance to see my tuxedoed friends both swim and waddle.

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The Zoo was thoughtfully designed with with lots of nice places to sit and enjoy the animals. What an awesome idea! I mean, I’d sit and watch the monkeys all day if I could! This comfy seating area in the primate house doubles as a human habitat, where the monkeys can observes us in our natural environment!

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The grounds of the zoo are located on a leafy hillside, with lots of trails to explore. As you round the bend you might run into a new friend, like this rhino enjoying her lunch! Note the lack of glass or wire fencing around her. Just a moat and some vegetation was all that kept us apart.

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Where it really starts to get mind blowing though, is when we start to move into the India/Southeast Asian habitats. The entire area is designed to make us feel like we’ve been transported to the other side of the planet. From this building, we began our descent downhill, where a large dome loomed in the distance.

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On the way down we passed a small Buddhist temple.

Then we started to smell curry…

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Of course, there’s a curry stand at the bottom of the hill, serving up heaping portions of Pad Thai. Because we’ve been magically transported to Asia, guys!

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All the while, that huge-ass dome is getting closer and closer. What’s in it!? We open the door and step inside. A blast of balmy air hits us. Lush vegetation and signs in Hindi are everywhere. We’ve walked directly into an…

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ELEPHANT THUNDERDOME! Here’s an elephant butt, guys!

You can stroll all along the outside of the elephant thunderdome. There’s even a little water feature that you can see them bathe in if you’re lucky. That day, were were not so lucky. But seriously, you could see an elephant bathe there, people!

We strolled around the elephant thunderdome for a while, just taking it all in. It’s huge, professional football stadium huge, and full of all sorts of different types of vegetation. Then we headed back outside, following the path that we thought would lead us out of the zoo. That was it, the big finale. Nothing could be cooler. Our minds were totally blown. Right?

We pulled open the doors that we thought would lead to the exit and walked right into….

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An indoor rainforest. That’s an indoor rainforest, people. This exhibit was also football field sized with an amazingly high dome. The coolest part? The spiral staircases that took us to a catwalk where we could walk among the forest canopy.

I know. I know.

There’s tons more pictures, but I’m still looking for a good e-home for them all. Needless to say, Zoo Zurich was a blast, and I’ll be back. You should visit too!

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