The zoo in Valencia, Spain, known as Bioparc Valencia, is full of wonderful animals in deluxe, non-depressing enclosures. You’ll find it on the western border of the city, easily reachable by bus or subway (you’ll have to walk about 15-20 minutes if you take the subway).
Bioparc Valencia is a new zoo which opened in March 2008, and its philosophies include sustainable design, scientifically-created habitats to ensure the well-being of the animals, specialized animal care provided by teams of both biologists and veterinarians and a concept called zoo-immersion for guests. Zoo-immersion means that when you enter an area of the zoo, which is divided into geographical ecosystems (currently only the African savannah is open, but Southeast Asia and the Neotropics are next), you will be surrounded by vegetation and landscaping appropriate to the animals you’re viewing, and in some cases, like with the ring-tailed lemurs, you’ll be inside an enclosure with the animals. The lemurs run all around their habitat, jumping over your head and crossing your path like cats.
And that brings us to #1 of our Top Ten Cutest Residents of the Valencia Bioparc: lemurs in trees (above and below)!
Cutest residents #1 through #4 are included in the video above. Here are the rest:
5. Blue butt monkey
So you like a cute blue-footed booby. How do you feel about a blue butt monkey? I feel pretty good about him.
6. Kirk’s dik-dik
This little antelope is only about knee-high. I’m so jealous of whoever Kirk is. (Kidding.)
I get the feeling this ostrich thinks he blends in. He doesn’t. He stood very still and tried as hard as he could to make me think he was a tree, but I totally knew he was an ostrich. All. Along.
8. Rhino (I know)
You may point out, and you’d be right, that an animal like a rhinoceros is not normally called “cute,” but this guy’s wrinkly muzzle and his graceful, tri-clump feet are adorable. No? Agree to disagree.
9. Aardvarks in a heart-shape
I spotted these two aardvark lovers sleeping together in the dark, curled around each other into the perfect shape of a heart. My guide told me that some visitors think aardvarks are ugly, but I think they’re tremendous.
Last, but certainly not least — probably best, in fact — are the mama and baby hippo who love to swim together in an enclosure where you could watch their behavior underwater. Click here to watch the video: Mama hippo and baby hippo swimming together – cutest video ever.
[Photos and video by Annie Scott.]