Pistoia Zoo

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Pistoia Zoo

 

The zoo of Pistoia, in Tuscany, is one of the most important zoological parks in Italy. We have been there a couple of times and it's always a pleasant surprise to notice its continuous improvement which at the same time increases the quality of the visit with space for the animals present. It hosts many known and lesser known species, including tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, elephants, hippopotamuses, zebras, camels, penguins, otaries, lemurs, kangaroos, tortoises, reptiles, bears, wolves.... It is an ideal place for families, offering an indoor playground and a biodiversity laboratory for adults and children. Of course, there is also a picnic area, bar and restaurant.

Zoo di PistoiaEach animal is described by an interesting card, where in addition to its main characteristics (how it lives, what it eats, how much it lives, how long the puppies last, who are its predators), it is shown a map of the places where it lives and are inserted stimulating curiosities. For example, did you know that the lion sleeps 20 hours a day? (!). At the weekend there are often free initiatives to get to know animals and their habits, such as the "bestial encounters" and the "mobile laboratory" to get to know animals directly, followed by specialized guides working at the zoo.

Zoo di PistoiaThanks to the particular attention devoted in recent years to naturalistic and environmental education activities, the 7 hectares of land and about 500 animals hosted are managed paying attention to the welfare of the animals and the study of their biology. Many habitats, once cramped, have been transformed, even though some areas of the old zoo still remain unmodified where animals are very "narrow". They suffer from the zebra, giraffes and hippos enclosed in enclosures that are too small for their size, with concrete flooring, without even a blade of grass. The elephant situation has improved with a new and open area behind it, which adds to the original one, with much more space and a sort of "games" that stimulate the beasts.

Many improvements have been made since the zoo was opened and over time animal welfare has increased considerably, especially for the already mentioned elephants, lions, wolves, bears and South African penguins, who are also able to reproduce here and who have seen a large two arm swimming pool built entirely new. There are many educational courses for children and adults (you can participate in the Biodiversity Laboratory inside the zoo). The zoo at the same time collaborates with other zoos in Europe and participates in conservation programmes for some animals, such as tigers in India, penguins in South Africa, lemurs in Madagascar and other species.

In this zoo you can meet live animals in an environment that tries to be as close as possible to the natural environment. It is so that children and adults can have close encounters with camels, lemurs and flamingos, which can be admired so close that they feel like touching them (but don't do it, some may even bite!), and even giraffes, elephants and zebras or from another part of the park brown bears, tigers and lions or reptiles, amphibians and insects.... the species are the most common ones. Of course, you can't feed the animals (other than goats and giraffes from the dispensers) and you must avoid annoying noises.

The idea of a zoo in Pistoia came to Raffaello Galardini, a private with a passion for exotic lands and animals of those places, which was helped by Angelo Lombardi, who many will know for having been a well-known television character of the years around 1950; in practice the first scientific divulgator of Italian television! His show was called "The Friend of Animals" and was broadcast on the RAI from 1956 to 1964.

Zoo di PistoiaSince its inauguration in the 1970s, the structure has changed into a crescendo of exhibition criteria, in an attempt to put animals at ease and interest visitors. In recent years, for example, new reception areas have been created for species such as the brown bear, wolves, tigers, lions and lynxes. The spaces available to the animals have been widened, shielding has been erected to protect the privacy of the animals (with special strategic observation points from which to observe them) and projects have been developed to protect endangered species. To give an example, the brown bear couple (known as Teddy and Ochila) comes from a zoo in Romania and are part of the project for the conservation and protection of the brown bear in Marsica, a subspecies of the brown bear that lives in some areas of central Italy, such as the Abruzzo National Park and that is now at risk of extinction; for this reason it is since 1939 that the species is protected by laws. (Convention on international trade in endangered species) and the European Habitats Directive.

Zoo di PistoiaThe structure of the zoo of Pistoia is organized in sectors that include in addition to the areas that host animals, also theme trails, cafè, restaurant, didactic laboratory, picnic area, souvenir shop, bathrooms and parking. The entire area is also Wi Fi area. Animal areas are home to many species, including vipers, pelicans and cormorants, brown bears, lynxes, reindeer, wolves, wolves, lions, cows, goats, rabbits, Cameroon sheep, manguste, manguste, donkeys, camels, African penguins, alpaca, tamarinds, otherness, lemurs, flamingos, jaguars, porcupines, zebras, zebras, etc.

Zoo di PistoiaThematic routes and itineraries of the zoo of Pistoia are the strong point of the structure. For schools, for example, the biodiversity laboratory is open (up to a maximum of 25 children per meeting, with children from 5 to 11 years old) within the zoo and gives the opportunity to participate in the construction of a feeder for birds, to know up close ferrets and rabbits, study the footprints of animals and take them with the plaster cast.... and what can you say if your child could have a bear for friend? Learning to protect it, understanding the difference between fairy tales and legends and the real animal world.

What about the animals that we are used to seeing every day, certainly less exotic than the first described above? In the thematic itinerary dedicated to the' Vecchia Fattoria' (Old Farm), generally articulated with meetings in the laboratory and with external activities, there is a dynamic participation in the life of animals such as cows, sheep, donkeys, hens, rabbits. We find particularly interesting the program called "They are not like beliefs: animals between fairy tale and reality", which leads to a close acquaintance with the animals of fairy tales, whether they are wolves, foxes or bears (true though and not in plush). For older children, teaching courses focus on topics such as the importance of recycling and composting, i. e. the biodegradability of substances and also on the evolutionary adaptation of our planet and animals.

The zoological garden of Pistoia therefore goes beyond the classic concept of zoo as a place that hosts animals of different species, proposing activities able to raise awareness among children and adults about the protection of our planet and its delicate balance.

 

Useful information Zoo of Pistoia
Address:
Via delle Pieve a Celle, 160 - 51030 Pistoia, Via delle Pieve a Celle
Tel 0573 911219
Entrance fee: (adults 15 euros, children 11. Possibility of annual season tickets).
 

Opening hours Zoo of Pistoia:


Every day of the year (from 9.30 a. m. to 5.00 p. m., last entry at 4.00 p. m., in spring summer one hour late closure) we recommend to check for any updates directly by calling the zoo management Tel. 0573 911 219.

How to get to the Zoo of Pistoia:

 

By car: exit Pistoia West and then turn left and follow signs for Zoological Garden / Zoo.
By train: get to the station of Pistoia (railway line Florence-Pistoia-Lucca-Pisa-Viareggio.
By bus: line 59 in front of the Pistoia train station (BluBus lines).

Where is it located?

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