Escape from the busy streets and tall skyscrapers of the city of Taipei to meet and interact with some of the most fascinating animals from all over the world. The Taipei Zoo was established in 1914 as a conservation park to protect endangered animals and to promote awareness of animal welfare. Walk down the shady avenues past spacious free-range enclosures to understand why the zoo holds a special place in the hearts of locals who think of many of the animals as dear friends.
Begin your visit outside at the Formosan Animal Area, where you can see Asiatic black bears and Chinese pangolins. Experience the humid air and the sights and smells of macaques and big cats in the Asian Tropical Rainforest. See camel and oryx in the Desert Animal Area and watch African animals gather by the waterhole during the heat of the day.
Visit the Panda House to see the irresistible black-and-white giants, known in China as the “ambassadors of peace”. Watch the cuddly koala in the Koala House, and see snakes, lizards and frogs in the Amphibian and Reptile House. The zoo also has an Insectarium, filled with fabulous beetles, bugs and butterflies, and Bird World, which has over 1,200 birds from 130 species.
Take the kids to visit the Children’s Zoo where they can get close to goats, llamas, horses, pigs and rabbits. They’ll also love the education centre where they can learn about natural history, ecology and conservation. Don’t miss the Dinosaur Museum, which has life-size reproductions of some of prehistory’s most fearsome predators.
Taipei Zoo is easily accessible via public bus, MRT train or the Maokong Gondola. Parking is available for a fee. The zoo is open seven days however, the various animal enclosures are closed for maintenance on successive Mondays. Entry to the zoo is free for children under six years old.