Berlin Zoo

If you spend ten Euros on anything in Belin, please spend them on a ticket to the Zoo. Worth it. I am excited like a little child as I enter the zoo, zoos are special and fun, there’s something shiny and colourful about the gift shops and something extra tasty in the food; and I always get carried away watching the animals, I could and do watch all day, I could watch for days. It’s the next best thing to seeing the animals in the wild, which obviously I’d rather do, but pending the money to do a safari or a trek to the arctic I’ll go to a zoo any day- and I honestly don’t think they’re cruel. Berlin zoo is excellent for views of the animals, especially as the day we go it’s like the inhabitants have been paid to perform to a good standard, literally everything is moving. There are few or no high fences, ditches are the preferred method of separation for animals and humans, and the cages are very open so you can see almost every bit. I’m torn as to how I feel about the cages, I had read reviews before I went about the cages being a little small, and for some animals (perhaps the elephants and the bears) I have to agree. It’s hard to know, I’m no animal expert and I’m sure they have to meet EU regulations so it can’t be cruel exactly, but there’s just always going to be something slightly heart tugging about seeing a big animal in anything smaller than the horizon. All the same, the range of animals there is astounding and I don’t even get time to go in the aquarium. There are Rhinos, which are always my favourite, Giraffes and Zebras in dusty pens with large white buildings behind. Majestic elephants, and one almost-majestic baby elephant, taking huge rolling paces across their shady cage, bending and nuzzling the earth before picking up a handful(trunkful?) and spurting it back over their fuzzy heads to keep cool. Baby jaguars chase their mum round the cage, using team work to finally persuade her to drop to the floor and let them suckle, they make odd screeching calls to each other as their powerful, inky father (presumably) stretches lazily in the pen next door. There are rafts of salmon coloured flamingos echoing their quirky calls across their cages, they arch their long necks lazily; round the corner the penguins are the polar opposite, no dignity, flapping lazily all over their pond and showing off to the visitors. I’ve never seen a polar bear in the flesh and fur before but they are impressive. I’d guess they’re a mum and baby, although there’s no difference in size, because one blinks a few times, stretches her limbs out and then walks sedately, her strides calm and slow and yet radiating power as she covers enormous amounts of ground with each one, over to the other white furry lump, sprawled sunbathing on a rock; she begins to lick the other’s head and ears. As I may have mentioned, I could watch them all day.


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