TLDR? Medellín’s zoo is actually called Parque Conservacion and is an amazing place to check out some wildlife!
Medellin is a city situated in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The surrounding ecosystems are revered by scientists, enthusiasts, and plain old common people. This is because they are some of the most beautiful on earth!
There are massive amounts of birds, animals, and plant life that you can observe. Sometimes you barely have to leave the city, and sometimes you don’t have to leave at all!
It makes sense, given the unparalleled natural beauty of Medellin’s surroundings, that the city would have a killer zoo. And it does! But here, they call it a Parque Conservacion.
Keep reading for a guide on what to know about visiting the zoo.
Getting To the Zoo
The Parque Conservacion is conveniently located in the center of the city, which makes it easy to access despite where you might be coming from. This is true whether you’re taking the metro, catching a ride with a cab, or just plain hoofing it.
I took the metro to Industriales and then decided to walk from there. All in all, it took about 15 minutes and, for the most part, had me walking down a fairly busy boulevard with lots of traffic.
However, I’m glad I took the extra time to walk. This is because the larger park that the Parque Conservacion is a part of has exterior walls.
The walls are absolutely covered in beautiful murals from tons of local artists from Medellin. I took an extra couple of seconds to stop and admire the artwork.
Checking out the murals made the walk well worth it, so don’t be afraid to take the long way from the Metro if you’re feeling so inclined.
Once you arrive at the Parque, it’s a fairly routine experience getting a ticket and finding your way to the entrance. There are also vendors outside the entrance selling snacks and bottled water, which I was grateful for given that I went on a very hot day.
Making Sense of All The Attractions
The park is modestly sized but punches well above its weight class in terms of the kinds of wildlife you can see. The enclosures are organized vaguely according to different kinds of ecosystems.
The savannah creatures are lumped together, the tropical birds in another place, the canopy-loving primates in another, and so on.
There are several restaurants within the boundaries of the park and areas where you can eat your snacks. Many of these areas also have outlets to charge your phone, and I saw a college-aged student working on their laptop.
There are also several play areas for children to have a blast in. Also, there are education-specific zones where kids can see the zookeepers handle some of the animals.
Sometimes, the kids were even able to handle some of the animals themselves! Like most zoos, there’s also a gift shop where one can pick up some swag to remember your trip.
Catching Views of All the Animals
Most of the enclosures at the zoo are designed well, and it’s very easy to catch sight of all of the animals that they have. I found that most of the animals were very active despite the heat of the day, a good sign that they were healthy and in good spirits.
The first big sight that I caught wind of was the bizarre and obtuse cassowary bird from Papua New Guinea. Not exactly something that you would see at any zoo, this bird looks like something out of a prehistoric era.
Next, I spotted a spectacled bear, which is an animal native to South America. It dwells high in the Andes mountains and has a beautiful pattern on its coat that looks all the more spectacular when you see it in person.
Also of interest were wild and wooly monkeys, many of which are also native to the jungles of South America and Colombia. Members of the various species were active and interactive with the people who had seen them.
I saw one, in particular, touching the hand of a young child through the glass of its enclosure in a touching display of inter-species empathy.
I also observed a mighty jaguar for quite a while as it lounged on a platform that the zookeepers had built for it. Having such an extended view of the animal really helped me observe the magnificence of the pattern on its coat.
I could also witness the raw strength of the animal as it opened its massive jaws to yawn. I could easily see why the creature has been revered by the ancient peoples of this area for eons.
Education and Enlightenment
When I went, the park was completely flooded with local young students and children. They were engaged in various field trips and tours to get educated about all the wildlife.
Many of the animals are from the tropical areas where Medellin is located. Given this, the education element of the park felt especially poignant.
Many scientists stress the importance of preserving the tropical rainforest environments of our world. This is to maintain the health of our planet for future generations.
The people living close to these environments are on the frontline of many issues. It feels doubly important for a strong environmental education to be imbued in these young minds. It is they who will steward these ecosystems in the years to come.
The Parque Conservacion had many plaques describing the wildlife in the enclosures. The plaques had general information about the range and habitat of the animals described. There were also fun facts and general tidbits of information about the creatures as well.
Another thing the plaques had that hit home was the various threats each species faced in its quest to maintain its own survival.
So many of the species at the park were threatened or endangered, so the mission and the name of the park became clearer and clearer with each read. Hopefully, places like Parque Conservacion can bring environmental awareness not only to the young people of Medellin but to all visitors who come to admire the creatures they are helping to preserve.
A Great Day Admiring Wildlife At Parque Conservacion
I had a fabulous day at Parque Conservacion, and think its appeal would be pretty obvious to anyone interested. It’s all because of the fantastic creatures you can see in a visually pleasing environment.
The layout of the park is small enough that you can see everything in one trip but big enough that you feel like you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
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