Many people are against the idea of keeping animals behind bars, but zoos actually save lives. If you think about it, tons of reports have shown that lost, hurt and endangered animals have not only been nursed back to health in zoos prior to being safely released back in their natural habitats, but larger zoos have the equipment, space and professional expertise to breed animals and increase their population.
One such magnificent zoological garden is the Polish Wroclaw zoo, founded in the 1800s and covering over 82 acres of land. Throughout the years its breeding programs have helped numerous endemic species such as the Philippine Scops Owl and the Pygmy Hippopotamus.
The zoo houses more than 10,000 different animals divided into over a thousand species. With so many residents living under its roof and approximately 2 million visitors on annual basis, the Wroclaw Zoo is a shining example of how such an institution can help our planet instead of just entrap animals.
For nearly two centuries the zoo has been recruiting participants willing to aid animals of all breeds and species through a number of initiatives. The board is recruiting experts and volunteers for beneficial and supportive activities, organizing educational seminars for kids and teenagers, sending out trained staff on rescue missions for endangered and nearly endangered species, and so on. In other words, it’s not about placing animals in cages and getting money out of visitors’ pockets.
Educational lectures and animal feeding schedules can be witnessed by all attendants because the Wroclaw Zoo is open every single day all year round, even during holidays.
Wroclaw is home to many animals that are endemic to the Sahara and Madagascar regions, which means that they can’t be seen anywhere else in Europe, even in other zoos. Exotic flora and fauna await at every corner for those willing to learn about the fascinating life on Earth and a handful of species can even be fed by visitors, as long as they abide the staff’s directions and regulations regarding animal and human safety.
In 2014 a special section called the Afrycarium was introduced on the grounds, housing flocks of African birds, giraffes and other types of African fauna. It’s the only oceanarium in the world that is focused only on African animals.
The zoo is environmentally friendly, as well as child-friendly. Not only does the board promote education, but the staff is always working on new improvements – be it on biocentric enclosures, seminars or attractions. One of the reasons why families favor this zoo next to others is the fact that apart from its biodiversity and vast grounds, the zoo can help the children learn while simultaneously having fun.
Unlike some smaller zoos out there, Wroclaw doesn’t put everything they earn in their pockets. On the contrary! The entry fees are quite affordable – the discount ones start from 30 PLN (less than 10 Euro) and the most expensive fees for up to 5 family members are 160 PLN (around 37 Euro). The zoo is a member of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). They offer various discounts and annual passes, as well as special Saving Wildlife tickets. The latter ones cost 1 PLN more and each additional 1 PLN goes only to the protection of endangered species. Standard ticket profits are put to other useful purposes, such as animal care, enclosure care and further zoo expenses.
Regardless of the prejudices some people might have towards zoos in general, the Wroclaw Zoo really is the best zoo in Europe, not just in Poland. If you want to help them out, spread the word and find out more about how you can participate in their programs, courses and seminars.