A student of mine at the university told me his cousin worked at neza zoo. He told me it was nice and that i would like it, too. To my great surprise he was right. Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl is a large neglected urban area of about 1 million persons just outside of mexico city. It was first built by illegal squatters on the dry lake bed of part of Lake tenochitlan - texcoco back in the seventies. Ciudad Neza, as it is called usually, is named after the aztec monarch Nezahualcoyotl renowned for his love of music, poetry and nature. His name means royal coyote who fasts. Most of Neza would once be considered a slum. The movie Elysium was actually filmed in Neza. Yet in the 80's the mexican government decided to finally urbanize Neza. Along with churches, goverment buidings and a small soccer stadium, a municipal park called the Parque del Pueblo was built. It had a small lake, an open air rotunda and some small cages for monkeys, coyotes and a pair of lions. Also a pen for llamas. When it was annouced that the park would be renovated in 1999 a poll was made among park visitors to find their opinions. The visitors said we want a real zoo with many animals like Chapultepec in Mexico City.Surprising enough, the state government listened to the people and in 2003 parque del pueblo reopened as Neza zoo. You enter neza zoo passing into a nice forested area in the middle of a sea of concrete outside the park. First is a section of mexican animals in long cages which are spacious and well planted. First of course are a pair of coyotes which are treated royally but are not fasting. Then there are jaguars, puma, grey fox, and bobcat. There is a large cage that holds currasow and capuchin monkeys. Also an aviary for peacocks and guinea fowl. A very long serie of moated pens for hoofstock goes around the zoo. Here are fallow deer, sika deer, gnu, blackbuck, bison, water buffalo, guanacos,a hippopotamus and a breeding pair of giraffes that are very popular here. In the middle of the park is the waterfowl lake with mallards, peking ducks, muscovy ducks and some geese. What is nice is that there are wild herons and egrets that use this valuable natural space. Next there is a small natural history museum and a recycling center. There is a small bird section with mostly confiscated birds. here are red lored and yellow headed amazon parrots, military macaws, orange fronted parakeets, keel billed toucans, aracaris, and green toucanets. There is also a farmyard with goats, pigs, sheep, ponies and a calf. Next a primate section with ring tail lemurs, mexican spider monkeys and a pair of hamadryas baboons. Then a very nice moated exhibit for raccoons and a nice glassed in area for african lions and white bengal tigers, which are unfortunately in almost all mexican zoos these days. In large cages were normal bengal tigers and a pair of african leopards. The reptile house was closed that day but i saw a large glassed enclousure outside for a Morelet´s crocodile and some sliders. You can see the pictures on the gallery in the mexico section. I will have to return to see the reptile house and a raptors show. I saw no really bad enclousure or exhibit, which was a pleasant surprise for a zoo in a neglected area like Neza, but that shows people of all kinds will always appreciate animals kept in proper conditions.