Art and Entertainment

Franka Bruns/AP
A polar bear walks on fresh ice in the
Berlin Zoo in 2003.

Zoo Mania: International Zoos, Animal-Cams and Photos of Furry Friends

May 23, 2010
by Sarah Amandolare
Planning a trip to the zoo can be interactive and enjoyable with the right Web resources. We’ve selected sites with animal photos and live video feeds to help you prepare for your real-life visit, and we’ve found information on some of the more intriguing zoos around the world.

Finding a Zoo

The choices are numerous, but once you’ve narrowed down a location, finding a zoo is simple. Use the interactive map from Zoos Worldwide to zero in on zoos around the world, and watch live zoo-cam footage of creatures both creepy and cuddly at zoos across the globe.

A Notable New York City Zoo

The Bronx Zoo was one of the original leaders of the conservation movement, working to protect snow leopards and bison, among many other beloved species. During a visit to the Bronx Zoo, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close with an authentic African rain forest habitat, which houses one of the most crucial Congo Gorilla breeding grounds on this continent. Also head into a springtime favorite: the butterfly garden.

Zoo Royalty

The Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes is Paris’ oldest public zoo, established amidst the strife of the French revolution in December 1794. In typical menagerie style, the collection of animals is small, but unusually charming. It boasts an intriguing history as the one-time home of the menagerie of the Royal Palace of Versailles, during which its animals were food for starving Parisians during the Prussian siege in 1870. Today, the Ménagerie is on the grounds of the botanic gardens and Natural History Museum of Paris, and houses a selection of mammals, birds and reptiles, including a popular monkey house.

Tripfilms hosts a brief video clip of young visitors at the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, shot by Italian director/cinematographer Elena Rossini.

The Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris Museum of Natural History) has a “Discover the Museum” feature on its official Web site with extra Ménagerie details and helpful tools for planning a trip to the Museum, or exploring its rich history.

Zoo Controversy

In January 2008, the BBC reported that two polar bear cubs were probably eaten by their mother at a zoo in Nuremberg, Germany. The BBC article delved into the potentially detrimental side effects zoos can have on wild animals, instilling unnatural habits and a dependency on humans. The article also pondered the issue of whether zoos aid or harm conservation efforts, and suggested that some zoos are too focused on profits.

Zoo Babies Worldwide

The Boston Globe has an adorable photo slide show of 72 international zoo animal babies, including a koala clinging to its mom at Madrid’s Aquarium Zoo Park, a red panda at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, and a majestic Siberian tiger cub who calls the Berlin Zoo home.

Animal Trivia

Get a virtual lesson on wildlife around the world at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Web site. Take a quick quiz to test your knowledge of unique species on each of the seven continents. Before you’re through, you’ll have picked up essential animal knowledge, such as the difference between African and Asian elephants, favorite foods of black-footed ferrets, and shared qualities of mole-rats and insects.

Most Recent Features