A day in the zoo

It has been years since I visited the zoo in Emmen and haven’t been there at all since in changed to the ‘Wildlands’ zoo experience it now is, so as Monica had visited the zoo several times now, this was a great time for her to guide me through the zoo.

A nice warm Sunday with a busdrive from Assen to Emmen took us nearly to the gate of the zoo (if it weren’t for some sports-event, more on that in another blog) and not much later we were in Wildlands.

It is an amazing park and looks nothing like the old zoo. A few less species, but a much more open space for the animals to roam. Every area in a specific theme.

For the polar bears, seals and penguins there is water to spare. But as it’s sunny the penguins took the opportunity to do some sunbathing on the rocks. The polar bears at least were splashing about in the water.

The polar bears had had a long night and were still trying to wake up

Walking to the desert-area, we first pass the location for the prairie dogs (or pretty dogs as they do love posing for a photo). These cute little animals have no shame or fear for men and scatter about on the hills in their area or on the walking paths, where we tall humans wander too.

Prairie dogs decided that a good day starts with a good breakfast

We next arrive at the ‘desert’, where camels roam and the much loathed ostriches (there’s an incident involving an ostrich in Emmen, me and a winter-glove that was stolen and I still want it back!). You can walk through their living area too, but to avoid any more winter-gloves being stolen, you walk through a set of old train-carriages. It looks great from the inside and outside.

Before further enting the park, you first have to pass judgement of the camel-committee

From here you easily reach the living area of the giraffes, the rhinos, zebras and some other animals. Their area is large and there’s a little safari-train going through there. It’s too busy right now, so we walk through the park a bit more. There is plenty to see!

The zebras, still in their pajamas and having a bad hair day didn’t want to look at the camera

An stop in the butterfly zone is an absolute must. The butterflies fly and float freely around and with patience (and the right colour of clothes) they’ll happily land on you as many visitors noted (not me however, I’ll were my roses-shirt next time). Really nice for a short visit.

Butterfly feeding point

We reach the ruins where the baboons rule. The elder males oversee their flock and… well, that’s about it. Unless one of the little baboons gets a little too naughty and needs setting straight. The lady baboons take care of the children and groom the male baboon’s fur.

You can’t imagine one of these guys having a bad hair day, these are the true dandies of the park

A little further along is where we see the lions den, but the lions aren’t too active. The most excitement is when mother lion raises her head, looks left and right and then goes to sleep again. Even the two little lions can’t be bothered to move. So we let them in peace and pass the little Squirrel monkeys.

The thieves guild at work, always be careful of your bags and pockets with these guys

We get to the big birdcage to see parrots and other birds. Here too the parrots fly freely in their large cage and if you’re lucky they’ll land on you. If you’re less lucky, something else will land on you though… When it’s too humanly crowded, the parrots shy away, but with less people, the birds come out again. Wise animals indeed.

A bit of colour then for this lovely loving couple.

Next to the parrots we find spider-monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and baby elephants. Also there is a restaurant where we take our lunch. It’s good you’re allowed to bring your own food (up to some point) as the restaurants aren’t that cheap and for a big family that might just be too much. However I get a nicely prepared wok-dish from the restaurant. Afterwards we see that the line for the boat-trip is non-existent and so we run for the boats that gets us even closer to the baby elephants. Also the spider-monkeys are great to see from the boat.

A journey by boat through the deep hidden jungle of Emmen
The ring tailed lemur spies us from the rop of the trees

Basically we’ve seen it all now, but with time to spare we walk a bit of the park again to see the big elephant, to have another look at the lions and to do the safari-ride though the area with the rhinos and giraffes. A great, great day and I’m sure we’ll come back. Even if only because I failed to do the Wildlands Tweestryd ride!

The elephant looks impressively into the camera (and plants his foot firmly and confidently into poo)

And then we left the animals in Wildlands to go see wild ‘animals’ on two wheels at De Gouden Pijl, the cycling event of Emmen.

For more photos of these and other animals click any of the photos, or click here.