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We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo


Abu Dhabi Week treated Layla Al-Jenaibi and her two and a half year old twin boys, Luke and Jake, to a day at Emirates Park Zoo. But what did they make of it?

Was it easy to get there?

The zoo is a 20-minute drive from the mangroves off Eastern Ring Road. It’s easy to find as it is well signposted. Parking is free.


Were there plenty of food and drink outlets?

There were a few places to eat. We stopped for a drink at a fresh juice café – which was fairly priced – and saw another nice looking café but we didn’t have time to visit. There were also some places to eat outside of the zoo, such as Subway.

What were the toilet facilities like?

There were plenty of toilets and they were all clean with the necessary amenities.


What were the animal enclosures like?

Some of the enclosures were a very good size – the lions and tigers had plenty of space and access to grass. However, there were a few that I felt needed to be bigger; the cows and ponies could have had more space. All the animals looked healthy and well cared for… But I wonder if animals are ever ‘happy’ in a cage.


Did you get to feed any animals?

We had as much time as we wanted to interact with the animals. We fed monkeys, zebras, donkeys, cows, goats, tortoises, camels, elephants and even a wallaroo, which looks like a baby kangaroo. We gave them long, grass-like shoots which you pay AED 10 a bundle for. We also got to feed bottles of milk to baby goats.

Did you see an animal or bird show?

We didn’t watch a show on this visit, but we’ve visited twice before so we’ve seen the sea lion show, which was well done. It lasted 15-20 minutes. My kids thoroughly enjoyed it.

Did you see a magic show?

A magician came over to us while we were walking around and did a card trick. He asked me to choose a card and not tell him. I picked the five of spades. I put it back in the pack and he shuffled it and picked another card to put in my hand. I closed my hands around it, and when I opened them the five of spades was inside. It blew my mind!


What was the highlight of the day?

The best part was getting to hold a 3ft python with the kids, then having it put around my neck for a photo.

How long did you spend there?

We spent about three hours at the zoo, and had a great time. We learned all about the elephants while feeding them, and how you can tell the difference between zebras from the markings around their necks. I’d go back.


Do you have anything else to add?

It was sad to learn that the newborn lion cubs had been recently taken away from their mother in order for the zookeepers to train them. I heard the zoo might open a new section next year where they will put on shows for the public and educate them about different animals. I understand that education is key, but I also feel that it is not necessary for wild animals to have to put on shows for our entertainment. Observing them in the zoo is already for our enjoyment, but having them do tricks and shows is unnecessary.

Emirates Park Zoo, 12th Street, Al Bahia. Sun-Thu 9.30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 9.30am-9pm. AED 30 adults and over sixes, AED 20 two-five-year-olds, under twos free. For more information contact: 055 524 6945 www.emiratesparkzoo.com


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