Zoológico de Chapultepec

Calz. Chivatito s/n, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Cdad. de Mexico, CDMX

Visiting the Chapultepec Park is a marvelous experience that has many varied experiences to offer, and even though it’s always crawling with visitors and tourists (especially the 1st section), it does allow for people to come in contact with nature, especially the gradually less concurred 2nd and 3rd sections of the park. And it also provides you with an opportunity to commune with nature’s wild side via the collection of animals found at the Zoolótico de Chapultepec. It’s one of the most visited zoos in the world, with 5.5 million annual visitors from the city, from the rest of the country, and internationally. The zoo was established by biologist Alfonso L Herrera in 1924 and its first animals were three lion cubs and an American bison that were brought in from the United States.

The zoo includes a hospital and laboratories for the animals, as well as a visitors center, a library, an auditorium, and the actual exhibition areas. These exhibition spaces are divided into two main groups, tropical forests, which have the jaguar and the gorilla as residents; and the savannah which has as its local animals the lions, giraffes, hyenas, and rhinos. Other facilities within the Zoológico de Chapultepec include an exhibition area dedicated to snakes and a “butterfly house”.

But probably the zoo is best known for its Pandas exhibition with the first pandas arriving from China 46 years ago as a symbol of friendship and cultural exchange with the Chinese people. These first pandas were Pe Pe and Ying Ying who eventually had a litter of 7 baby pandas. Nowadays the zoo is home to the oldest pandas outside of China who are descendants of Pe Pe and Ying Ying. They are Shaun Shaun who is 34 years old, and Xin Xin who’s 31 years old. Both have surpassed by quite a lot the life expectancy of 20 years that pandas have in the wild, and to put things in perspective, only 2% of all pandas in the world live to be over 30, so the Zoológico de Chapultepec has been proud of having 2 of those animals in its care.

The panda program at this zoo in Mexico City has been one of the most successful in the world, its conservation efforts have been recognized internationally. The zoo is free for the entire public and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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