Just newly opened on December 12th this year is the 'Asian Animal Zone' exhibit in Maruyama zoo. Hokkaido Likers was given a special tour around the facility.
The exhibit consists of rainforest, alpine and other zones with animals from those regions. The exhibits have been designed to give the visitor the most interaction possible with the animals and to feel and understand the areas in which they live.
▲ The 'Snow Leopard' exhibit is an indoor and outdoor exhibit through which the leopard can move freely.
Yuichi Kageyama, the Deputy Zoo Director, explained to me that these leopards have thick tails and large feet to help them balance on rocky mountain outcrops
It was great to see the leopard run up and down the rocks. There is also an upper area which allows visitors to see through to the leopard from above.
▲ The upper area gives visitors a very intimate look at the leopard.
The zoo is also home to the incredibly beautiful and endangered "Amur Tiger".
Another great area is in the "alpine" section next door. Here we can see 'Lesser Pandas" wandering around above our heads as they climb along walkways and "Elm Trees".
▲ Once a small upper window is opened the Lesser Panda can come into the climbing area.
▲ ..... And here he is out and about with his cute little red face! The keepers tell me however that although he is cute and fluffy his claws are long and sharp so they often have lots of scratches!
▲ Outside of the room is a small climbing wall! Visitors who take the climb will be able to see the Lesser Pandas face to face!
Now we enter the rainforest area with warm humid air and a water park.
▲ The area is home to not only native rainforest area plants but also the Asian "Sun Bear or Honey Bear", fish such as the "Arowana" and birds such as the "Bali Starling".
▲ Next is the aquarium area where we can see fish such as the 'Arowana' and also animals such as the "Asian / Oriental Small-clawed Otter".
"Animals and exhibits can be seen from inside or outside", said the Deputy Director, "so people can spend a relaxing, leisurely time, even in Sapporo's winter season."
▲ Deputy Director Yuichi Kageyama says "I aim to make visitors feel that the facilities are interesting and exciting."
Maruyama Zoo is conveniently located just around the corner from the Hokkaido Shrine (a popular tourist destination), so it is easy to see both these site together.
※ Events in January
January 1 to 3, 2013 Admission is free!
• The first 1,000 people, will be given a free "Shedding of the snake zodiac" good luck charm for economic fortune!
• The first 100 people, will be given a Lesser Panda bookmark.
• Free hot drinks to the first 300 people.
※ Events in February
• Free admission during the Sapporo Snow Festival event.
- During the Snow Festival there will be events such as snow and ice slides.
Phone 011 . 621.1426
Address : 札幌市中央区宮ヶ丘３番地１
Sapporo City, Chuoku, Miyagoka 3-1
Opening Hours : Winter Season 9 am to 4 Pm
February 1st to October 10th until 5 pm
Closed December 29 to 31
(Hokkaido Likers Photo-Writer : FUKKO)