June 19, 2011
The Taipei Zoo has over 190 acres of outdoor and indoor animal exhibits open to the public every day. The facilities consist of 6 main buildings: the Education Center, the Nocturnal Animal house, the Penguin house, the Koala house, the Amphibian and Reptile house, and the Insectarium. The giant panda exhibit is also a big hit with visitors, especially when the pandas come out. There are also 8 exhibitions including the Formosan Animal exhibit and the Asian Tropical rainforest display.
The history of the Taipei Zoo can be traced back over 90 years. In 1914, when Taiwan was still under Japanese control, a Japanese man established a private zoological garden in Yuan-shan in the northern suburbs of Taipei City. The Japanese Government in Taiwan purchased the property the following year and transformed it into a public park. Following World War II in 1946, the Taipei Zoo was formally taken over by the Taipei City Government. In 1970, the amusement park adjacent to the zoo was consolidated into a large park, providing entertainment and education for several generations of children and adults.
We visit the Insectarium, which is a large complex consisting of greenhouses for butterflies and damselflies and insect display tanks.
After thirteen years of planning and construction, the old zoo started back in 1914 was officially closed on August 15, 1986, which marked the end of the Yuan-shan era. The new zoo, now located in the Muzha District in the southern part of Taipei, held its grand opening on New Year’s Day the following year. Today the Taipei Zoo has four main functions: conservation, education, research, and recreation. More than four million visitors attend the Zoo on an annual basis; it has also hosted several international conferences on conservation-related topics.
To get to the upper part of the zoo, we hop on board a tiny zoo train for a leisurely ride up the hill.
The penguin display is partly inside and partly outside. Tanks surrounded by simulated natural scenery show off the little stars in their natural habitat. In addition to the penguins, there’s a display of beavers and sea otters.
We’ve had a great day at the Taipei Zoo.