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Belgrade Zoo Visit Short Review

Discussion in 'Serbia' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 20 Apr 2017.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    17 Feb 2016
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    On April 4th, 2017, after I came back from Spain, I was in Belgrade, Serbia and visited the Belgrade zoo - the largest zoo in Serbia and notably one of the richest in species in the Balkans. This was my second visit to the zoo; The first visit was a long time ago in 2006 and this zoo was the second zoo in my life (the Skopje zoo third :) ). If I had to list zoos in the Balkans, according to their quality, I would list:
    1.Attica zoological park in Greece (big bird collection, nice exhibits, good collection of mammals)
    2. Zagreb zoo in Croatia (seems very nice zoo, comparable to zoos in Western Europe; big collection of rare-in-zoos reptiles and interesting mammals, but also birds);
    3. Ljubljana zoo in Slovenia
    5. Skopje zoo (better enclosures than Belgrade zoo - which was not case before 10 years, and more spacious) in R. Macedonia
    6. Palic zoo in Serbia
    7. Sofia zoo in Bulgaria
    8. Belgrade zoo in Serbia

    But to return to my visit to Belgrade zoo:
    -The zoo had not changed significantly since my last visit in 2006. The zoo is still pretty overcrowded and many of the enclosures have concrete floors.
    - The zoo has white tigers, white lions, white wallabies, white peafowls.
    -The zoo, among other animals, holds: 1). Asian elephant (the solitary female), common hippos, reticulated giraffes, Grant's zebras, Bactrian camels, eland antelope, Dorcas gazelles, lions, Amur tigers, (African) leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, Arctic wolves, various small carnivores, brown bear, Asiatic black bear, polar bear, chimpanzees (3.1.1), Bornean orangutans (1.1), ring-tailed lemurs, silvery marmosets, red kangaroos, gray kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, Parma wallabies, Atlantic seals; etc. 2) Andean condors, Egyptian vultures, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, many owls, many small birds, crowned cranes, American flamingos, gull, African spoonbills, waterfowl, macaws, eclectus parrots, Amazon parrots (several species including blue-fronted and yellow-fronted), Patagonian parrots red-billed toucans, kestrels, falcons, Southern ground hornbills, other hornbill, Southern cassowaries, etc.; 3) American alligators, Cuban crocodiles, anaconda, green tree pythons, a monocled cobra (I think), chameleon, etc. ;4) Piranas, some other fish, 5) Domestic animals.
    -The zoo animals that were added since my last visit to the zoo: Cuban crocodiles, Brazilian tapirs (but I did not saw them), the male Bornean orangutan, possibly other animals.
    -The zoo really don't have much room left, although it is surrounded by a city park in a hilly part. It has a lot of concrete, many enclosures are entirely made of concrete floors (like for example black leopard enclosure, common hippos, caprine enclosures, all bears enclosures, and most of the smaller birds enclosures (rows of square enclosures)).
    -However, some enclosures and complexes were renovated since my last visit in 2006: The reptile house is renovated, it is small but decent, with some eye-catching terarria and the cave for American alligator -although that doesn't seem very natural as for the American alligator. Also new enclosures are provided for big cats (lions, tigers, cheetahs) that last time I saw in the concrete pit on concrete floor (now inhabited by domestic donkeys).
    -But three of the greatest weaknesses in the zoo remains: 1) The small square, concrete, outdoor enclosures for the apes and monkeys and the small indoor concrete-floored enclosures in the Monkey house. Indoor viewing of the primates is trough glass and metal fence. There were 5 chimps, and 2 Bornean orangutans in the monkey house, also some of the smaller primates (lemurs, silvery marmosets, pig-tailed macaque) and the 2) Steep concrete pit for three bear species, separated only with a fence, and the enclosures completely covered with concrete. I saw one Asiatic black bear, one polar bear, and three European brown bears; 3) Pretty overcrowded, row-cages for various birds, a lot of noise here (parrots, raptors, owls, hornbill, pigeons, pheasants, other).
    -The zoo is also renovating something in the area above canid carnivores enclosures.
    - Maybe it would be best for this zoo to be completely relocated in a new, more spacious place outside the city. The feeling would be much more beautiful I think.

    - The best enclosures in the zoo: 1) Cassowary enclosure (right in front of the entrance in the zoo) with glass-viewing and naturalistic and quite big (I saw two cassowaries); 2) Tiger (white) enclosure; 3) Cheetah enclosure (I saw two cheetahs); 3) Smaller terraria in the reptile house; 4) Most enclosures for smaller carnivores were decent (fennec foxes, serval, African badger, coati, pygmy otter, etc.)
    - Satisfactory (nice) enclosures in the zoo: 1) Giraffe enclosure and giraffe house; 2) Zebras and antelopes/gazelles enclosure; 3) Asian elephant enclosure; 4) Atlantic harbour seal pool; 5) Some bird enclosures (Andean condor, Egyptian vultures, crowned cranes+American flamingos, some water birds (African spoonbills, gull).
    - Worst enclosures: 1) Monkey house, including ape enclosures; 2) Cuban crocodile enclosure (completely on concrete floor - I think it was temporary, I saw two sub-adult Cuban crocs; Cuba has a special relation with ex-Yugoslav republics, with visa-free access between the two parties - so I can go visa-free to Cuba :) ); 3) Bear pit with three species of bears; 4) Smaller bird, row of square enclosures; 5) Common hippo enclosure; 5) Jaguar enclosures.

    I have uploaded photos in the media section for Belgrade zoo.

    Last edited: 20 Apr 2017