On Easter Monday, I bussed-walked to the Prague Zoo, on the north side of town, across the river, set in a lush, hilly area. The layout is about the best I’ve seen vis-a-vis zoos.
Architects have used the hills to help animals live in more natural terrain that isn’t so man-made (mountain sheep are penned into a two-acre space reaching far up onto the steep side of a mountain) and not so cage-like (monkey habitats are made with water surrounding islands, keeping the little fuckers secure because certain monkeys don’t swim).
Zoo patrons view pachyderms from above (or sort of eye level), giving an unusual perspective. While the giraffes and some African antelope types get a 5+ acre habitat to stretch their legs.
I saw an American bald eagle, and the great American buffalo. I watched women hang their babies over pen barriers where, ten feet below, sat hungry-looking tigers. In this land of atheists, I wondered if I could find a Christian to throw to the lions. A group of six penguins swam in a circle and moved much like synchronized swim teams. The polar bear gave a swimming exhibition, too. A gorilla picked his nose to the delight of the infidels.
No screens separate humans from bats in the nocturnal mammal house, which pretty much freaked me out when two of the furry fliers wizzed past my head close enough for me to hear their minute echo screams.
Of course, no Prague venue is complete without a beer kiosk every 50 yards, and the zoo is no different. One thing I’ve noticed, happily so, about CR is that parks & concert venues & theaters don’t rip you off on beer/food prices. Typical captive-audience places in USA & Euro capitals charge $5-$7 for a beer. In Prague, I get half-pints of knock-you-on-your-ass beer for the equiv of $1.25.
This pick illustrates the popularity of beer in CR (they grow ’em young, don’t they?)