We really enjoyed this zoo, its one our favourites.
We have strong opinions on what a zoo should be: it should be about the animals, not the guests! Most of the animals seemed pretty happy, but we fely sorry for the Jaguar being on his own but maybe eventually he'll get a mate :)
The African plains gave lots of space to the animals which was great to see :)
The farm with its domestic animals inspired us to get our babies, so in February we had two new guinea pig additions to our home :)
We went around christams time last year, and hope to do the same this year, and spent most of the day there away from the crazy xmas shopping rush (best time to go in our opinion). There was very few people even at the weekend, we got to take our time and take some great pictures.
Ive attached a few pictures as the animals are what make the zoo, you can find opening times and prices etc. on the zoo website: http://www.dublinzoo.ie/
If you hear a Dubliner talking about a trip to the Zoological Gardens you might hear them say they are going to the Azoo….its all in pronunciation. The Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest European Zoos and its original design is Victorian. You can still see evidence of this design in the older animal houses on the right hand side after you go through the main entrance. These now house small aviaries and it is difficult to imagine that up until the mid 1980’s they were home to some of the bit cats and monkeys. Dublin Zoo is constantly trying to develop and create better habitats for its inmates on tight resources. Personally I have dilemma with Zoos on the one hand they provide a valuable service in education and species preservation but they can never replicate the true habitat especially the range that some animals require….so I walyws end up with a love hate relationships with them…on the one hand glad of the work on animal conservation and on the other sad to see animals in captivity. I still recommend Dublin Zoo as they do try to put a lot of the money directly back into improving the conditions for the animals in there care.
Tigers are just my favourite animals and one day I hope to shoot one in the wild and mount it on my wall....ok I had you going there for a minute I mean with my camera and hang the photo !!!!
Dublin Zoo has had great success breeding tigers and has just opened a new enclosure for them which is way ahead of their previous one. I know it still is not completely their natural habitat but it does help conservation of this beautiful animal.
As noted in a previous Tip Dublin Zoo has a great reputation for rearing big cats. In fact the MGM lion at the start of the movies is reputed to have come from Dublin Zoo. Here is a picture I took a few years ago of playful tiger cubs that were successfully bred in the zoo.
Best zoo I've been to. One for those who like to see the big animals tigers, lions, giraffes, elephants, gorillas ...
Zoos like Bristol/London used to have loads of these but, quite rightly, have now reduced the numbers to give the few they've kept more space. They also have fantastic educational programs and support programs for some endangered species which is all very commendable (I myself sponsor at Bristol in a small way).
But for ordinary people like myself there is nothing quite like seeing all the big beasts in the flesh and Dublin has been designed with loads of space and just about every large animal you could want to see (OK no Polar Bears or Pandas, though they had Red Pandas).
Great place to spend ambling round. Not cheap (12.5 Euro) to get in but still good value.
Top entertainment value was watching the keepers try to get food past the 20 or so herons hanging around to the seals. It must happen every feeding time so I didn't understand why the keepers seemed so confused. An unitentional circus clown act.
Phoenix park is the home to Dublin Zoo. I visited it for the first time in 2007, and was duly impressed. It is obvious that many millions of Euros have been sunk into producing a very well planned and attractive ‘zoo experience’. This appears to be dramatic change from some years back when it had a bit of a reputation for being a very old-fashioned place when tatty and bored animals were squeezed into tiny living spaces. Much like living in a North Dublin Council estate.
Of special note is the ‘African plains’ section which is set around an attractive lake. With clever design features, you can often look out over wild African animals with very few visual clues to tell you that you are still firmly in the centre of a European city rather than the Great Rift Valley.
The tiger enclosure was another winner, set on a steep hill you get a great view wherever they are. The Elephants have a fantastic space, and with the arrival of Asha, the first elephant born in Ireland a real crowd-pleaser.
All the usual suspects you would expect to find in a zoo make an appearance with a few notable exceptions. I couldn’t find any camels (my personal favourites, due to their bad-tempered personalities) or any Panda (not so much bothered about that, they are too cute by half).
A great family day out. Alwats good to visit the in-laws.
The first baby elephant born in Ireland came along in May 2007. A rare event anywhere, but it called a real stir here. A competition arrived at the name of 'Asha'. I wanted 'Bertie'.
The whole of Dublin Zoo has been comprehensively redeveloped over the past few years, and the new elephant area is one of it's crowning glories. Whilst the animals now seem to have more room than in the average Tanzanian safari reserve, it does make it a bit more difficult to get a good view of little Asha. I only saw her from quite a distance. Lets hope their success in 2007 leads to more pounding of little feet in the future.
P.S Note to my offspring : asha was walking within 8 minutes - what are you playing around at ?
Dublin Zoo is located in The Phoenix Park 3km from the City Centre. The Zoo is recognised as one of the most modern in Europe. The Zoo has a complete transformation in the last few years and open up The Plains of Africa where you can see Lions and tigers. It is possible to get the safari train ride around the African Plains if you don't fancy walking around. There is an area for children called the pets corner which kids can interact with some of the animals. Plenty to keep children occupied whilst you walk around the zoo. The shop is another wonderful place where you can purchase stuffed animals and the normal tourist cups and souvenirs and a snack shop. There is also a restaurant that serves basic food like chicken and chips. The zoo is opened daily from 9.30 to 6pm. Adults 15 euro, students 12 euro. Under 16 10.50. Family pass can be also purchased.
Ok... it was January, it was wet, and it was windy and cold. And I do understand the neccessity for Zoo's to carry out construction work when their are no tourists around.. I really do. But when we visited Dublin Zoo, the place was a complete building site, there were virtually no animals on show, in or out of cages and the whole thing was one major disappointment. What annoyed me so much was the fact they charges 15 euro to get in (full price) when 5 euro would have been far more appropriate for the time of day and year.
I can only assume from the good reviews of this zoo that things are very different in the summer months :-(
Inside Dublin Zoo, the Houghton House has been reconstructed to appear as it was when opened in 1898. Unfortunatley the house was closed when we visited the zoo in January.
The house was built in memory of Samuel Haughton who was secretary of the then Royal Zoological Society of Ireland for 20 years until his death in 1897. He was also Professor of Geology at Trinity College and a noted science writer. Unfortunately perhaps, Haughton is better known for working out the maths of how to hang someone humanely, so that the neck broke the instant they dropped.
On the ground floor there were ten dens for wild animals. Visitors viewed them from a central corridor. Above on the first floor there was a refreshment and lecture room and a balcony looked out over the zoo.
The main zoo features a selection of monkey island where you can watch chimps, meekats etc climb and swing to their hearts content. The reptile house, bat enclosure and south america hut are all good too and worth checking out.
The big cat enclosures are very good too, we were lucky enough to see the tigers at feeding time. We were also lucky to be there while an orangutan baby was still tiny and oh so cute.
The African Plains area to the zoo is very good. The animals have a lot of space that trys to replicate their natural environment quite well but the animals are still close enough to get a good view.
The Meercat Restaurant has some good food at reasonable prices and a large meercat enclosure is built in to the walls so you can watch them while you eat...or they can watch you while they eat. Either way.
Dublin Zoo is located in Phoenix Park and is open daily from 9.30 am. It is one of the oldest zoos in the world with over 400 different animals kept in the 28 acre park. Look at the website below for opening times and ticket information. It first opened its doors on 1st September 1831 with 46 animals and 72 birds that were donated from London Zoo.