Be Entertained at Antwerp Zoo
Established in July 1843, Antwerp Zoo is the oldest animal park in Belgium and considered to be one of the oldest zoos in the world. It was originally created as a center for the study of botanical and zoological sciences, and has actively promoted wildlife preservation with the public through special events, activities and exhibitions. The zoo continues to participate in endangered species breeding programs for a number of endangered species around the world, including the Przewalski horse, the okapi, the Congo peafowl, the bonobo, the European otter and the Knysna seahorse.
Visitors to Antwerp Zoo will find thousands of animals, each in their custom-designed habitat. King penguins, rockhoppers and Gentoo penguins are housed in a specially designed refrigerated enclosure to meet their specific requirements for optimum wellbeing. California sea lions are natural performers and keep spectators entertained for hours. Renovated in 2005, the reptile house has many species of snakes, lizards, caimans and turtles, as well as amphibians. The Egyptian temple has Asian elephants and the critically endangered Rothschild's giraffe. In an area called 'Hippotopia' visitors will see hippopotami, Dalmatian pelicans, Malayan tapirs and a variety of waterfowl, while 'Bear Canyon' features coatis and spectacled bears among others.
Nocturnal creatures are housed in a special facility called 'Nocturama' which allows visitors to see animals that would not normally see during the day. These include two-toed sloths, night monkeys, armadillos, tamandua, aardvark, slender loris, lesser mouse-deer, rakali, Gambian pouched rats and Egyptian fruit bats.
Aviaries have an incredible variety of birds housed in various breed-specific enclosures. Visitors can look forward to spotting the spectacular Congo peafowl (listed as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN), kiwis, macaws, touracos, pheasants, toucans and Australian magpies, among many, many others. Big cats at Antwerp Zoo include Siberian tigers, jaguars and Amur leopards, while the monkey house is filled with entertaining and fascinating inhabitants such as owl-faced monkeys, emperor tamarins, black-headed spider monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarins, mandrills and pygmy marmosets.
As one of the world’s oldest zoos, Antwerp Zoo has some superbly preserved historic buildings, including the entrance of the zoo built in 1843. Other historic buildings include the Egyptian temple (1856), the Moor temple (1885), the Greek temple-style reptile building (1901) and the aviary building (1948). Certainly, there is plenty to keep the entire family occupied at Antwerp Zoo.