The Beijing Zoo is actually really inexpensive and really huge. We missed a lot of animals and will have to visit again. To get in and see the pandas, it’s 20 yuan ($3.33)/person. To get into the zoo, the panda exhibit and the aquarium is a much pricier ($23/person, I think). We decided to save that for another day when the weather is bad and we want to be inside.
As a family we enjoy zoos and we knew we wanted to see pandas in China,* but everything I’d read about the zoo was that I’d feel bad for the animals, there weren’t enough zookeepers, the animal habitats weren’t great, the animals were unusually lethargic, etc. So, going into this I had low exceptions and maybe that’s why it didn’t seem so bad. There did seem to be a lot of empty (without explanation cages, or maybe I just didn’t notice the signs because they were in Chinese). And there did seem to be some over crowding in cages. But the animals we did see were great and pretty active. The monkeys were super fun and we spent a long time there watching them crawl, swing, jump and run all over their large cage. There were bear cubs, a polar bear, some large cats, giraffes (what we’ll feed next time we come to the zoo), elephants, lemurs, etc.
|Pandas in China. Although they looked very old.|
|Blown candy and super tall, maned wolves.|
Squirt wore a hat to the zoo. He got less attention than the Temple of Heaven but still had his photo (our whole family’s photo) taken with a Chinese girl who asked nicely in English.
Overall we enjoyed the zoo and we’ll be sure to go back to see some of the animals we missed as well as to see the aquarium.
*There’s still a chance that we’ll travel to a panda sanctuary southwest of Beijing in a different province but that’ll be a bigger trip so we’re saving it for later.