Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
September 10, 2002
Back to the main path you’ll pass buffaloes and the White Rhino on your right, as well as passing two hippo enclosures, some Barbary Sheep, and sitatunga on your left. Boards in front of each section detail dietary, habitat and life span information in both English and Korean, although the more detailed descriptions are given in Korean only.
Just past the sitatunga, the African and Asiatic elephants dominate the right hand side of the path. On the left, a number of camel graze lazily behind wooden fences. A giant net rises up behind the elephants, under which four species of cranes, pelicans, storks and geese move around a bird enclosure centred on a small pool.
Opposite,Dolphin shows take place three times a day at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm (weekdays and Saturday). On Bank Holidays there is an extra show at 4.30pm, from December to February there is no morning show. The show itself lasts for twenty minutes but is only mildly interesting.
Beyond the building housing the dolphins the path continues past reindeer and elk. Viewing positions here are spoilt somewhat by the garish blue fences and the fact that the animals are located up a small hill. Turning to the left, the path bends sharply past Red Deer and the imposing American Bison. There are also a few bears here, the most interesting of which are the Moon Bears, who are seldom found in the wild anymore despite their revered status in Korea.
On the right,the leopards and jaguars are caged in, but the prize Siberian Tigers are allowed a section with some foliage and a few pools. One of the tigers was previously housed at Pyongyang Central Zoo.
The path continues past the Small Carnivora House to the upper Chair Lift terminus, where the path drops down to a lime green building housing monkeys in Spartan concrete cages with only a small piece of scaffolding, smaller than a child’s climbing frame, for company. The centre of this building is home to a couple of indolent crocodiles, while there is also a small section devoted to snakes. Exit, turn left, and continue past some more leopards to the Botanical Garden.
The second largest in Asia in terms of size, the gardens are free to enter and feature 46000 plants from 1300 species in four halls devoted to Tropical Plants, Subtropical Foliage, Cacti and Oriental Orchids. Very impressive.
Take subway line 4 to Grand Park station.
From journal The World's Best Kept Secret?