Taipei Zoo

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Taipei Zoo
臺北市立動物園
Zoo entrance
Date opened 1914
Location Wenshan, Taipei, Taiwan
Coordinates 24°59′42″N 121°35′3″E / 24.99500°N 121.58417°E / 24.99500; 121.58417Coordinates: 24°59′42″N 121°35′3″E / 24.99500°N 121.58417°E / 24.99500; 121.58417
Website english.zoo.taipei.gov.tw

The Taipei Zoo (Chinese: 臺北市立動物園; pinyin: Táiběi Shìlì Dòngwùyuán), sometimes referred to as the "Muzha Zoo" (木柵動物園), is a public zoological garden in Wenshan District, Taipei, Taiwan. It is the most famous zoological garden in Taiwan and a leader in conservation, research and education, and recreation. It is also the largest zoo in Asia.[1]

Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914, when Taiwan was under Japanese sovereignty, in Yuanshan Mountain (Maruyama) on the northern suburb of Taipei City. It was originally a private zoological garden owned by a Japanese citizen, Mr Oe. The Japanese government in Taiwan bought the property the following year and opened it as a public park. After World War II, the Republic of China (ROC) retreated to Taiwan and the ownership of the park was passed to the Taipei city government of ROC. An Asian elephant named Lin Wang that served with the Chinese Expeditionary Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and later relocated to Taiwan with the Kuomintang forces was moved to the zoo, and lived out most of his life and was the most popular animal at the zoo, and the most famous animal in Taiwan. Many adults and children alike affectionately called the bull elephant "Grandpa Lin Wang." Due to a need for expansion and for better conditions for the animals, the zoo was moved to its current site in Muzha on the southeastern suburb of Taipei City in 1986. It is, therefore, sometimes referred to as the "Muzha Zoo" (木柵動物園) to be distinguished from the former "Yuan-shan Zoo". The current site encloses 165 hectares, including 90 hectares open to the public.

Exhibitions[edit]

Tuan Tuan at the Taipei Zoo

The Taipei Zoo displays animals from Taiwan, Australia, Africa, the Asian tropical rainforest, the desert, and the temperate zones. The zoo also displays domestic animals in its Children's Zoo, as well as over 12000 birds of over 130 species in an aviary. Other exhibitions in the zoo include an insectarium, amphibian and reptile house, penguin habitat, koala habitat, nocturnal animals display, and a panda exhibition.

Giant Panda House[edit]

In 2008, the zoo received two pandas from the People's Republic of China (PRC), named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan (meaning "reunion"), as a gesture of unity. The gift of the endangered pandas had been rejected by President Chen Shui-bian in 2005 who viewed it as a propaganda tool against Taiwan's independence, but the incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou, of the Kuomintang, had forged stronger economic and diplomatic relations with the PRC under his presidency, and was willing to accept them.[2] The offering of pandas as a gift from the PRC is often known as "panda diplomacy", and the zoo expected to draw around 30,000 visitors a day as a result of their arrival. The move was criticized by supporters of Taiwan's independence and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, who said that "Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan means a union, which perfectly matches Beijing's goal of bringing Taiwan into its fold."[2][3]

The offspring of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, Yuan Zai, was born on July 6, 2013. She is the first panda cub to be born in Taiwan.[4] Yuan Zai's public debut was on January 6, 2014.

Formosan Animal Area[edit]

In this part of the zoo visitors can take a look at animals which are native to Taiwan like wild boar, crab-eating mongoose, clouded leopard, Formosan Sika Deer, European otter, Reeves's muntjac, Formosan rock macaque, Formosan pangolin, Formosan serow and Formosan black bear.

Fern Garden[edit]

Fern Garden is a part of the zoo where visitors can take a look at ferns.

Insect Valley[edit]

In this area the visitors can see insects.

Children's Zoo[edit]

In this area visitors can see animals which are usually held at farms around the world but also some other species. Animals here are for example muscovy duck, cattle, Asian water buffalo, pig, pony, goat, guinea pig, rabbit, donkey, llama, alpaca, rose-ringed parakeet and common squirrel monkey.

Koala House[edit]

In this building, visitors can see koalas.

Asian Tropical Rainforest Area[edit]

This part of the zoo is the home to animals which are native to the tropical rainforests of Asia. Animals which are on display here are for example tomistoma, great hornbill, southern pig-tailed macaque, siamang, orangutan, Malayan tapir, leopard, sun bear, Asian elephant and Bengal tiger.

Desert Animal Area[edit]

The animals in this area lives in the desert. Here you can see addax, Bactrian camel and dromedary camel,

Australian Animal Area[edit]

This part of the zoo shows the visitors animal which are native to Australia, like eastern grey kangaroo, emu, southern cassowary and red-necked wallaby.

African Animal Area[edit]

In this area visitors can watch animals which are native to Africa. Animals exhibited here are for example zebra, eland, hippopotamus, African lion, white rhinoceros, giraffe, Patas monkey, chimpanzee, barbary sheep, olive baboon, lemur, western lowland gorilla, bongo, impala, ostrich and African elephant, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Spotted Hyena.

Bird World[edit]

Bird World is the most western part of the zoo and displays birds like ducks, geese, swans, flamingos, pelicans, ibises, hawks, eagles, hornbills, starlings, pigeons, doves, toucans, babblers, pheasants, cockatoos, parrots and cranes. The main aviary has been closed for renovation since the winter of 2010.

Amphibian and Reptile House[edit]

This building is the home to the most of the zoo's collection of amphibians and reptiles. Here visitors can take a look at snakes, lizards, tortoises and frogs.

Temperate Zone Animal Area[edit]

In this part of the zoo lives the animals which usually lives in the temperate zone of the world. Animals included in this area are for example Przewalski's wild horse, American beaver, American bison, raccoon, sika, bobcat, woodchuck, European otter, Asiatic black bear, red panda, brown bear, grey wolf, puma, and Eurasian lynx.

Education Center[edit]

This is a building which houses an auditorium, the zoo library, special exhibitions and dinosaurs.

Penguin House[edit]

In this building visitors can take a look at the penguins at the zoo. Taipei Zoo has two different species of penguins on display: king penguin and African penguin.

At the entrance square there's enclosures with lar gibbon and flamingo.

Transportation[edit]

The zoo is accessible from Taipei Zoo Station of the Taipei Metro.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PACIS 2010". Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. July 9–12, 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Chinese pandas arrive in Taiwan". BBC News. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  3. ^ "In pictures: Pandas sent to Taiwan". BBC News. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  4. ^ "Newborn Giant Panda". zoo.taipei.gov.tw. Retrieved 5 Dec 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Taipei Zoo at Wikimedia Commons

Category:Zoos established in 1914