When i was a kid, i liked going to the Belgrade Zoo (especially the snake house, of course). But it has been a long time I’ve been there, and the only pictures i see are the ones from TV and newspapers reporting when something new happens, a new baby animal is born or when they build something new or make some new aquisition or something like that.
Recently, however, I’ve been getting a lot of reports about the poor state the Belgrade Zoo is in, and the inappropriate conditions of the animal habitats there, both from people who visited the zoo and from media. When the state itself is in lot of financial trouble, one can not expect the Zoo to function normally i guess.
Hat tip to Cvijus, who recently brought my attention to this website, Beogradski Zoo vrt SOS that has a running petition for moving of the entire Zoo to the more appropriate location.
Now, I’m no expert on animals or Zoos, but i consider this website to be a very good resource on information concerning animal conservation and Zoo conditions. Also, whoever designed the website did a good job because the serious and proffesional look gives a lot of credibility to the whole action – thumbs up. Maybe an English version would be a good thing too?
What i managed to find out there:
Belgrade Zoo is not a member of any global Zoo association, such as WAZA (Palic Zoo is there, though) or EAZA.
Belgrade Zoo is built in 1936. and is one of the oldest in Europe.
By European standards, 20 hectares is a minimum for a zoo, while Belgrade zoo only has about 6 hectares.
This is a very small area for 2000 animals, and the site of the Zoo, the Kalemegdan park and fortress, is not an appropriate location because of too much concrete and stone that generate heat quickly. Nearby busy street Cara Dusana is also not a good thing to have around a Zoo.
The Zoo is meant to educate, and Bg Zoo currently doesn’t have employees trained to do that.
Latest news concerning Belgrade Zoo is that Gorica Mojovic, Councilor of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, stated two days ago that there is a plan of moving the site of the Zoo to Surcin, a municipality near Belgrade. She didn’t, however mention who made that decision or when, and based on which research is Surcin the best soloution? Hopefully we will find that out in near future.
One thing that puzzles me is the Zoo director, Vuk Bojovic, who claims that the Belgrade zoo is one of the best in Europe. Is it really?
Have you been to the Zoo in your city lately?