Visitors go behind the scenes
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

 

The kitchen and hospital at the Johannesburg Zoo are usually closed to the public, but these and other areas are visited on tours to learn about the workings of the park.

 

 

IF you've always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes at the Johannesburg Zoo, now is your chance. Anyone who is interested can tag along to usually out-of-bounds places in the city's main animal reserve.

The tours are being offered on which people can act as temporary zookeepers, learning more about how the zoo functions and how it meets the needs of its residents. Called the Behind the Scenes Tour, it is a guided walking visit that lasts for approximately one-and-a-half hours. It stops at places that are usually off-limits to the public, such as the kitchen, hospital and two night rooms.

All the food for the animals is prepared in the kitchen. Visitors get a rare look into the lives of veterinary nurses, who look after the zoo's animals – there are more than 2 000 animals from over 320 species. In the hospital they are able to meet – and touch – the animals, both local and exotic. Questions are also answered and advice given on diets and husbandry of exotic species.

Husbandry refers to the care of animals, including their housing and enrichment. Advice is also given about what to do when an injured animal or bird is found. For more information or bookings, contact Lebo Moalusi on 011 646 2000 (Ext 216) or send an email to lebomoalusi@jhbzoo.org.za. The Behind the Scenes Tour costs R85 per person and booking is essential.

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