Sights to See in Barcelona
Always a popular stop for both tourists and locals, the Barcelona Zoo receives over a million visitors per year
It isn't hard to see why, either, once you learn of all the things it has to offer animal lovers.
Built in 1892 these 13 hectares of land, located in Ciutadella Park,
house thousands of animals from 400 different species, many of whom are
not typically to be found at other conservation facilities.
There are programs that stock and protect the Gila Monster (Heloderma
suspectum). This large lizard, normally associated with
the Arizona desert, is a favorite of both children and adults. You can
safely view this creature that has changed little from prehistoric
times up close and personal. Not far behind on the time scale is the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga
trydactyla), a rare species not found at many zoos. The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis
liberiensis) is another unusual animal that visitors won't see even at many larger facilities etither.
The zoo also hosts a number of Black Vultures, a Mhorr's Gazelle and Rothschild's Giraffes. In addition to these fairly well-known animals,
the Barcelona zoo is also home to species rarely seen
elsewhere, such as the Greater Kudu, Siamangs (an arboreal gibbon) and several Mangabeys (a type of Old World monkey).
The zoo is home to a number of interesting bird species to delight visitors, including night herons, egrets and storks. But other species get a fair showing, as well, such as the Majorcan midwife toad from the Tramuntana Mountains.
There is a Reptile House that kids will want to view for hours on end.
There's no shortage of the kind of animals that zoo lovers often travel far to seek out as well.
Barcelona offers several Eurasian Otters, which are part of the zoo's active return-to-the-wild program.
They have a Red Panda that is a great favorite among zoo-goers of all
ages. And the pack of Iberian wolves, native to Spain, continues to be a major
attraction, bringint in thousands of onlookers every year.
The zoo provides refuge to several lowland gorillas, too. Not least of those was the famous Snowflake,
a quasi-albino gorilla, a resident for 30 years. Snowflake was not a
true albino, since his eyes were blue, not pink. But, few visitors
quibbled over this as his fur was completely white. The only
known example of this variation. Snowflake died in 2003, but several of
his progeny are housed at the zoo and there is a large exhibit which
shows many videos of this fascinating animal.
The zoo has another unusual feature for a land based zoo....dolphins.
Aquatic animals don't often make their way into zoos, generally being
reserved for aquaria, such as the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago or the aquariums in San Francisco. Barcelona has one of those, as
well. But, in the Barcelona zoo, there are several different species
displayed at the Aquarama, including four bottle nosed dolphins (Nika, Lela, Anak and Blau), who
give daily performances to audiences of up to 300 people. Here the
visitor to the Barcelona zoo can enjoy watching their acrobatics and
perhaps even participate in their games.
The zoo even once was home to a killer whale, practically an unprecedented species to find at a zoo.
Along with the dolphins, the zoo holds several semi-aquatic creatures: Humboldt Penguins.
These delightfully zany creatures fly underwater using their flippers
as wings, just as birds do through the much thinner fluid we call air.
In each case, however, ari or water, the method is much the
same and as much fun to watch in the case of the penguins.
The zoo is easy to reach. Just take the metro to Ciutadella. The zoo
is a short walk away. When finished, take in some of the many other
sights offered by the Ciutadella
More Sights to See in Barcelona