After my walk through Antwerp City I returned to the Station and visited the Zoo. This zoo is very old. It was inaugurated in 1844 by King Leopold I and opened to the public.
In the first period of its existence, the area of the park grew from less than 2 hectares to more than 10 hectares. Notable buildings from that period are the
Egyptian temple from 1856,which is now occupied by Elephants and the antelope building 1861 in Oriental style, which now houses the okapis.
The park is so big and beautiful, that many Antwerp inhabitants use it like a normalpark, where they stay the whole day, can picnic and the children have a nice playground. There are three restaurants and banks are everywhere and you can sit under nice trees and enjoy the beauty of the park or visit the animals.
The only thing which bothered me personally was, that there was more room for humans than for animals, which should have been the other way around. But the cages had been made much bigger and more species-appropriate as I had seen them some 30 years ago.
In 1983, the zoo was classified as a monument.
Antwerp Zoo houses over 5,000 animals of about 950 species. They get nearly 1.3 million visitors each year and have around 38,000 supporting members.
Postcards of the animals
some spring cleaning
and here starts the beautiful park
with flamengos at first
The apes were inside because their cage was just cleaned
But then they showed up and I saw this cool boy. He looked at me too stood up and slowly came over and sat down.
We were just separated by a thick glass but I tried to take these pictures of him, while he put his head against the glass and looked at me on the other side.
He had such a cute look ! I wished I could petted him, but then probably I would have looked like a pancake.
These little gentlemen greated everybody in their tuxedos, they really were very funny to see especially when they all walked together.
and beavers ! They grumbled and walked around like angry men
Some scavening birds
see the beautiful decoration of the building
and then I arrived at the Elephants.
The house of the Elephants with its Egyptian decoration
and father Elephant who stand there waiting to be fed. The poor guy only had one tusk.
It was feeding time and they all waited. There was also one elephant baby as you can see.
children very intrigued by these big animals
The chimpanzees were jumping around
and also expected some food from the visitors, but feeding was not allowed of course
Here I admired the oriental house of the Okapis
He is just eating and wasn't very much interested in me
another beautiful building for monkeys I suppose, it was empty.
These were apes with red bottoms I don't remember the name, but they looked quite funny !
And here are some pictures of the parc. Stone Elephant sculptures covered with ivy
a lot of flowers and trees
This little guy walked just behind the bank where I rested a little after my long walk.
Of course I have missed a lot of animals, but I only had one hour and a complete visit to see all animals would have lasted 3 h at least ! But for sure I will go back there.