Tuesday, June 25, 2013


What's more relaxing than a weekend trip to the zoo?

After buying beer and ice cream, we wandered through the open air bird habitats, far from the main attractions. The path around the lake was nearly empty as the rocky terrain kept away families with strollers. It was just us, the birds, and one other hand-in-hand couple.

We settled on a bench near the boar pen to finish the beer and watch the gigantic boars root happily around in the mud.

They had some exhibits we'd never noticed before, like kangaroos, a disgruntled-looking "Mississippi crocodile", one wildebeest, and several antelope. These animals must have been hidden away somewhere during winter.

The Africa mural between the antelope area and the kangaroo yard-

We found three cats dozing in a pile of hay next to the mural. The first one saw us, yawned and stretched, and meandered over to be petted. The others eyed us suspiciously for a minute and then came over as well. There are cats all over the park. In fact, the zoo is practically a cat paradise as there are lots of tiny four-legged critters to hunt and plenty of cozy places to nap.
Tired from a mouse hunt?

Summer is such a pleasant time to be outside- even the hippos agree!

There are several things that make this zoo unique for me. The first is being able to buy food for the animals. It's possible to buy cabbage and other veggies at under $1 a bag from any of the food stalls... have you ever fed an elephant or an antelope? : ) Another is the chance to ride a camel. Still haven't tried this yet but it's quite amusing to watch the soft-spoken young handler tries to coax the belligerent camel into following her orders. The final thing that makes this place stand out is how much of the zoo's pleasant greenery is backed by the towering Derzhprom/university buildings. Please excuse the terrible photo, it's really quite an impressive contrast in person. Do come and see for yourself!
Even the zoo signs capitalize on its city center location
The day was drawing to a close so we just did a little more walking before heading home.
L to R: tribute to 3 primates (see Pavlo's comment below or read this), "Primate House",
random sticker near the monkey cages: "We are alike", sky reflection in one of the small bird ponds
Want more Kharkov zoo? Try these!


  1. The zoo has a very interesting aquarium. Have you ever been there?

  2. ------"tribute to 3 of the zoo's original primates"
    the main thing, that this monument is dedicated to...World War II. That 3 apes were in the Derzhprom building during the war and survived.

    Another thing you shoul visit is Ecopark. It's free, but not that easy to get there

    1. Ah, I've heard about that Ecopark. Definitely have to get out there for a visit! Thanks for the info about the apes... I'll have to go back and read the sign more closely : )