Zagreb Zoo Getting a Makeover

Total Croatia News

Better living conditions for animals at the Zagreb Zoo.

A project team of 15 people has been working very hard on the modernization of the Zagreb Zoo, and the first phase of the project will be completed in about half a year. Among other improvements, the first phase will bring new dwellings for sea lions and penguins, who have last been seen at the zoo thirteen years ago. “In the second phase, our main themes will be water and sustainable development, and we will cooperate with the Maksimir Park”, explained project manager Jurica Ambrožić, adding that the design of the dwellings has already been defined, including the new water filtration system for the sea lions and penguins, reports Večernji List on March 4, 2016.

Two of the lakes within the zoo will be landscaped as well. The second phase will cost more than the first, which was financed by as much as five million euros drawn from European funds, which is a record for Zagreb local projects. “The east entrance has already been renovated, as well as the northern fence. By summer, we expect to finish construction works on a restaurant and a new educational area”, says Ambrožić.

Still to be completed are construction works at the African aviary for birds and two new bridges, the Swan Island, a dwelling for Dalmatian pelicans, the Madagascar area, dwellings for lemurs, a souvenir shop, and an additional new entrance. “We are trying to do everything the way it should be done”, say members of the modernization team.

Project coordinator and deputy director of the Zoo Davorka Maljković says that animals have already started preparing for the forthcoming relocation. “The inner part of the aviary will soon be completed, and we will let about fifty birds in so they can grow their wings. We are developing new technologies to be used in dwellings where people will come into contact with animals, such as in the aviary and with lemurs”, says Maljković and adds that the Dalmatian pelicans have already arrived from Vienna to adapt to the new environment. These impressive birds used to live in Croatia about a hundred years ago, but nowadays they exist only at the zoo. Nine members of the largest pelican species will be able to walk to a small pond near their new home.

All the birds will be able to fly in the new aviary, and visitors themselves will be able to move among them. “Of course, the interaction between birds and visitors will depend on birds themselves”, explains Ambrožić.

The ultimate goal of the whole renovation project is to increase the number of visitors to the zoo from 250,000 to 360,000 per year, which is not unrealistic given all the recent investments.


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