How about a bit of fun with animals in the midst of history, arts, and architecture? Well, Prague, one of the most visited cities in Europe will not disappoint you at all. Home to one of the best zoos of the world, 4th best to be exact, the Prague Zoo was established in 1931 with the goal to protect and conserve wildlife and at the same time educate the public about them. With an interesting and large catalog of your common and not so common amazing animals, Prague Zoo is the home to 5000+ animals, including animals from some 132 critically endangered and threatened species too.
About the Prague Zoo
The zoo occupies a green space of about 140 acres of land in Troja, to the north of Prague. The original vision to create a habitat for animals came back in 1881 in a newspaper article on the occasion of the royal marriage of Prince Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Austria and Belgium respectively. The actual planning though started only in 1919 and a committee was established for the same by the advisory board of mathematics and natural education which led to the opening of the zoo gates on 28th September 1931. The Zoo has quite a few first and unique feats to its name, notable among the many:
- It was the zoo where an Andean condor was bred artificially for the first time in 1938
- The first artificially bred polar bear named Elun was born in 1938
- In 2001, the Zoo became again first in breeding a Przewalski’s (Wild Mongolian) horse. The Zoo takes pride in conserving the majestic Przewalski lineage and till now has organized return of around 35 wild horses to their natural habitat Mongolia.
Major events in the Prague Zoo
The year 2012 was an eventful year for the zoo during which 1557 babies were born across 211 species spreading bunches of joys among the caretakers and visitors. Among them was the first breeding of Red Pandas and also of the crowned river turtle and rufous-cheeked laughing thrush who were welcomed for the first time.
The Zoo also has its own share of sorrows when in 2002, probably the worst flood in near history about 134 animals lost their lives. A considerable portion of the zoo was also submerged and many animals were taken by Vitara and Elbe rivers to neighbouring Germany. The Zoo has rebuilt again, thanks to the generous donations by individual and wildlife trusts across the world. The animals thrived in the coming decades and today it is one of the most popular family-friendly places to visit in Prague, amongst the locals and visitors, adults and children alike. The Zoo currently witnesses a footfall of an average of 15 million guests per year. Recently in 2014 the park also opened a brand new pavilion for 33 critically endangered Chinese giant salamander, the largest collection in Europe.
Also Read: Visit Prague’s Heartbeat, Old Town Square
How to reach?
The zoo can be easily accessed by the Prague public transport system and it takes about half an hour from Prague 1 and Prague 2 districts, which are the most recommended places to stay in Prague. The entry ticket to the Zoo costs about 200 CZK for an adult ticket and 150 CZK for a child. The entry of infants is free of cost. Also please note that smoking is prohibited in the park premises and wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes to move around.
The park definitely makes the list of things to do in Prague in your leisure time. So do plan your visit to the relaxing abode of animals the next time you are visiting Prague for spending some wonderful family time, especially if you are travelling with kids who will both be fascinated and marvelled by our friends’ from Animal kingdom. To plan and book a trip to Prague or anywhere else around the world and finding more amazing European Itineraries, head out to pickyourtrail.com where the world awaits you!