We decided this morning to visit Cali Zoo – which is quite close to the hotel we are staying at. We mentioned it to Enrique who insisted on driving us there and paying our admission, something he does for most of the families who stay at the hotel.
We only had a couple of hours – Enrique arranged to have someone pick us up so we would be back in time for lunch, so we decided to see as much as we could, and then come back on our own schedule another time to see the rest of it.
Cali Zoo is set next to the Cali River, indeed, it actually spans the river with the entrance and several small exhibits on one side of the river, and the main part of the zoo on the other side. It is a lovely setting with lots of well established trees providing plenty of shade and a haven for lots of native birds.
One of the first main exhibits we came across was a large walk-through aviary, full of wonderful exotic birds from around Colombia. While this exhibit was excellent, many of the other bird cages were not as good as we would generally expect from a modern zoo. Similarly, the primate enclosures seemed quite small for the number of animals they contained, and the dirty glass around them made it difficult to actually see the animals.
The zoo has an excellent collection of birds and animals native to Colombia, plus a few exotics (lions, tigers, kangaroos, emus, and such). Most of the enclosures were good, but as I mentioned, some were a bit small or a bit crowded.
One of the highlights of the visit was the butterfly house. Beautifully set out, it contained a great collection of spectacular butterflies, but that wasn’t the good bit – it was when we discovered these tiny little birds buzzing around inside – they also included hummingbirds and other tiny birds in the butterfly house. Indeed these birds are so small that some of the butterflies were significantly larger! Unfortunately they are quite difficult to photograph since they move so quickly, I hope to get to spend more time there waiting for some great shots on our next visit.
We really enjoyed the visit to the zoo – we will try and get back there at least once more before we leave, I want to get some more photos of some of the Colombian animals, plus some photos of the enclosures to upload to ZooChat.
I’ve only uploaded a few of the best photos here from this visit – most of which happen to be birds, but I’ll hopefully get to spend more time taking photos of the other animals on our next visit.