For the Kid in You: Reloaded

I remember when I was a child my parents always had to take me to the zoo of any city that we visited and had one. Not that I have seen so many zoos, but I have generally always liked animals. Well… my childhood “lust” has resurfaced and did not leave me in peace until I visited one of the better zoos nearby: the Zoo of Targu Mures
Zoo Tg. Mures
It is really easy to get from Cluj to Targu Mures by car. Following the main road, the E60, it is actually quite hard to miss the city. Once the city is reached, get into the center and then follow the pretty signs saying in BIG letters: ZOO (another attraction which was well marked in two weeks… wow… ). The road will lead you up on the hilltop forest where the Zoo is located. There is ample parking space, but I recommend getting one furthest from the entry under the trees (to avoid the car heating up on the sun). From there on it is only a short walk to the main entrance and visitors also have the chance to see Thomas the Tank Engine happily towing 3 wagons full of people enjoying the ride (yes, it is a kid’s land, but what did you expect?).

What was really surprising, was the entry fee: it was 5 RON (€1.20) for adults and only 2 RON (€0.50) for children. A bargain, one might think this will be a cheap zoo, but it actually isn’t: apart from really messy places, some areas are in quite good shape and the animals seem to be well fed (I am not sure if all of them are happy though… 🙁 ).

The zoo itself has a circular layout, so there are actually two options one can choose: left or right (Why complicate it? It is meant for relaxation right?). We went to the right (I guess the monkeys attracted me 😛 ). This decision, quickly turned down my mood: the first cages housing the monkeys. My impression? Small… REALLY small cages for quite big families of monkeys… The monkey house itself seemed dirty, the restrooms, which were inside the monkey house were no different. Quite the first impression, one might say…

As we moved on, however I saw, that not the entire zoo is like that. In fact, some fenced areas are quite huge and in some cases I could barely spot the animals to take a good picture. I had to have full zoom for the deer and the kangaroo, the tigers were barely visible and I could not even take a decent shot of the bison… 🙁 . I was able to make quite good shots of the bears, who seemed really friendly and some donkeys (I think those are always friendly).

One of my favorite places, however are the cat-cages. They are located somewhere in the central area of the big circle layout (apart from the tigers) and one can get some really good close-ups of some of the cats within (lynx, puma, leopard, lions and jaguars). The cats appeared to be really well fed and seemed to be just enjoying the sunshine, so this was a plus.

One thing gave me hope here also and really pumped up the value of the zoo: yes, it is under heavy development. Some new fenced areas were under construction (quite large), a new building was also being built, so I guess it is only a matter of time until the living conditions for the animals will get better. They will have to work a lot, however, on how to attract tourists: have clean toilets and for the love of God, think of at least some souvenirs and gift-shops, please…

You can see some of the photos I made on my Picasa album.


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