Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Artis Zoo

The Artis Zoo was the first attraction I used my I amsterdam card with. I was super excited to start the day off with going to the zoo as zoos are one of my favourite types of attractions to visit. I just love animals. Artis, which is short for Natura Artis Magistra is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe. The zoo also contains an aquarium and a planetarium as well as a fairly large art collection.

The zoo was founded in 1838 and was initially only open to members. Starting in 1851 it was opened to the public during the month of September. In 1920, it was opened year-round to the public, but September remains discount month. I might have missed discount month but my visit was included in the price of my I amsterdam card so I had it pretty good anyways.

On arrival, I got my card scanned at the ticket counter and was handed a paper ticket so I could get it scanned at the gates. Heading into the zoo, I made my way along the path seeing camels, alpacas and donkeys before seeing some monkeys.

Of course a visit to a zoo is not complete without a visit to the tapir enclosure. The Artis zoo hosts Brazilian tapirs. The four tapirs were happily sharing their enclosure with llamas, maras and a few capybaras.

There were red pandas with a little deer in their enclosure. I really tried to get photos of the red pandas but they were moving around quite quickly. Sometimes its better just to enjoy whats in front of you and not bother with the camera.

I came across the interesting sight of a man kneeling in the penguin enclosure. I'm not sure what he was doing but I enjoyed seeing all the little penguins gathered around him and not just penguins, but herons which I found interesting.

The guy below certainly wasn't camera shy and came right up to say hello. He was quite cute and I wish I was able to give him a pet. I think that he would have liked that.

I also really enjoyed the giraffe enclosure as there were quite a few and I have never been so close to them. I was even able to touch two of them when they brushed past the cage. I let them touch me not the other way around. I didn't want to get in trouble for sticking my hands openly into the cage or broken by doing that.

I could not resist going back for one more peek at the tapirs and found them relaxing behind a log together. Nothing like a good cuddle.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the zoo and could have spent a lot more time there (not just staring at tapirs.)

 The zoo is open daily but times differ depending on the season. I suggest checking online on their website. Prices are free for 0-2 years, €16,50 for 3-9 and its €19,95 for 10+. The zoo is included in the I amsterdam card. 

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