I am an animal lover and so naturally one of the places I like to visit is the Zoo though I also look around at Pet Shops and Boarding Kennels (I just love dogs specially Labradors). Speaking of which, one of the biggest and has the widest collection of animals is Taipei Zoo. It is said to be the largest in Asia and the most famous and leading zoological garden in Taiwan. I would personally attest that it is indeed the biggest as it took 7 hours for me to view all exhibits, explore the mountain and stop for several minutes for refreshments including of course snapping hundreds of shots of every animal that caught my interest. Below is the land area open for the public.

The current zoo land area is 165 hectares of which 90 hectares are open for the public…I’m not quite sure if I walked 90 hectares but what I am very much sure was I did check out all exhibits including the reptile house which of all animals I am not fond of!!

There was a typhoon that day though according to Taiwan weather ministry it would hit the land late afternoon…
So..what made me decide to take the train to Yuanshan (Maruyama) Mountain and go to Taipei or also known as Muzha Zoo? I’d say it was because of “TuanTuan” and “Yuan Yuan” … probably you’re wondering who and what they are. These two were the offering of PRC to Taiwan and they are Pandas… and they were the reasons why I braved that stormy day to Yuanshan. I may not get a chance to see a real Panda in China so why not grab the chance of seeing them in Taiwan?

One will never miss these Panda’s because their quarters are near the entrance. I’ve imagined holding them while posing for a photo but was disappointed simply because they were inside a glass cage. I ended up posing with two huge stuffed toy Pandas (as posted here, i looked happy anyway holding his right leg). I had to look for the pairs, actually they were sleeping on their back and were hidden behind the thick leaves which probably were their breakfast. I had to wait for them to wake up and was lucky enough although they didn’t really walk towards me or the other guests… both just sat with their backs on a large rock while munching bamboo leaves….

The Taipei Zoo displays animals fromTaiwan, Australia, Africa, the Asian tropical rainforest, the desert, and the temperate zones;
these were the areas I visited next. Was amazed with their collections from these regions. I spent more than half an hour watching a chasing the king of thejungle… The Lion… actually it was the queen… she’s so beautiful that I had to again wait for her to settle so I can take several shots. And there she was sitting on those huge logs like she never cares…

The zoo also displays domestic animals in its Children’s Zoo, as well as over 12000 birds of over 130 species an aviary. Other exhibitions in the zoo include an insectarium, amphibianand reptile,house, penguin, habitat, koala,habitat and nocturnal animal display.

Second to the last stop was at the Penguins place… I was dead tired and my feet were aching… I was hungry and hotdog on stick and soda were not enough… I decided to overdose myself with Coca-cola (sugar rush) but to no avail… I cannot walk any longer…so I looked for the zoo map to find out where I was exactly; to my surprise the Penguin’s area’s located at the top of the mountain. Either I had to ask someone to carry me back to the entrance or literally drag my feet for around a kilometer or more to reach the nearest tram station while getting myself drenched since it was raining by that time. Looked around and no one seemed to volunteer to carry me so had no choice but to take the tram.

It was a very tiring trip yet I had fun…I told myself, next time I visit Taipei Zoo I will wear sneakers and sweat pants rather than flip flops and jeans … which obviously were not the appropriate clothing for such activity.

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