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Pretoria

National Zoological Gardens – Family Outing and Tourist Attraction

The National Zoological Gardens, or better known as the Pretoria Zoo, was established in 1899. It attracts thousands of local and international visitors every year. The Pretoria Zoo is the only zoo within South Africa that has the honor of having National Status, making this zoo a leading attraction in Pretoria.

With a total of 4,340 different creatures roaming their enclosures,
all
with different needs and habits, the National Zoological Gardens have
tried
to recreate each enclosure, to resemble each animal’s natural habitat,
as
closely as possible. The Pretoria Zoo houses endangered species such
as
babirusa, sloths and maned wolves. Walk through aviaries have 161
species
of birds overhead, from four different habitats. The National
Zoological
Gardens also has a free roaming farmyard, and a nursery where animal
babies
are cared for. Most importantly, there is a fully equipped veterinary
hospital, to ensure that the animal are always in good health, and to
take
care of unexpected injury as quickly as possible. Other species that
live
in the National Zoological Gardens are 7 amphibian species, 97 mammal species,
297
fish species and 106 reptile species.

The National Zoological Gardens also plays an important part in the
conservation and breeding of endangered animals. Their projects
include two
breeding centers namely Lichtenburg Game Breeding Centre and the
Mokopane
Game Breeding centre. Lichtenburg concentrates on animals such as the
white
rhino
, cape mountain zebra and Arabian oryx, and Mokopane specializes
in
species from Africa, South America and South East Asia. The Pretoria
Zoo
also has a satellite zoo and animal park, Emerald Animal World.

Whilst visiting the National Zoological Gardens, children are able
to
join the Adopt-An-Animal Club. This will include their entrance fee,
and
they will be issued with an adoption certificate for the particular
animal
they wish to adopt. This is just another incentive from the National
Zoological
Gardens to bring awareness to children of the importance of protecting
nature.

The Pretoria Zoo has a restaurant and various kiosks for light
refreshments, and a Zoovenir Shop, to remind you of your unforgettable
experience. There are picnic spots and braai areas around the park, or
take
a ride on the Zoo Choo Choo Tractor Train, through parts of the zoo.
For a
bird’s eye view on the Zoo and surrounding area, there is a cable car
facility available. Aquarium Tours, Camping Tours and Night Tours are
hosted by the Zoo, as are daily and specialized School programmes.