Posted by margaretm in Wherever life takes us |
Visitors are often surprised to discover giraffes, zebras, hippos, giant pandas and even a polar bear lurking in the heart of Mexico City's Chapultepec Park. Not running around wild, of course, but in the spacious zoo located there, the largest in Latin America. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that entrance is free of charge and anyone can walk around the savannah, jungle or temperate highlands when they want and be reminded of the immense diversity of animal life on our planet. This is particularly poignant in one of the largest cities in the world where another type of two-legged mammal and a wide variety of noisy, fume-emitting mechanical creatures inhabit the urban countryside in their millions and dominate life.
Although the zoo is sandwiched between two of the city's busiest arteries, Paseo de la Reforma and Constituyentes, the loud roar of traffic and bellowing of horns becomes a distant muffled sound as you enter the zoo. Spacious walkways shaded by abundant trees, bamboo and other vegetation lead around the world's main ecological systems where the different animals are housed, and where large aviaries are aflutter with birds. The only places you have to pay to go into are the mariposario, home to hundreds of butterflies which fearlessly waltz past you, and insects like giant scorpions, and the herpetario, full of shuddering snakes and giant anacondas.