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article imageReview: The Sao Paulo Zoological Park, a jungle in the city Special

By Igor I. Solar     May 8, 2012 in Travel
San Paulo - Spread in an area of over 200 acres of original Atlantic forest, the Sao Paulo Zoo shelters about 3,200 animals from 444 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates and promotes public awareness about wildlife conservation.
São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the world's seventh largest city by population. About 10.7 million people live in the city of Sao Paulo and almost 20 million in the “Greater São Paulo" metropolitan area. As many other large conurbations in the world, Sao Paulo has been referred to as a “Concrete Jungle”. Most parts of the city are in fact a dense array of buildings and highways.
But not everything in São Paulo is high-rises and busy roads. Sampa, as the locals affectionately call their city, has some wonderful parks among which the highlights are the Ibirapuera Urban Park and the Sao Paulo Zoological Park.
View of downtown Sao Paulo  seen from the top of  Terrazo Italia   one of the tallest buildings in S...
View of downtown Sao Paulo, seen from the top of "Terrazo Italia", one of the tallest buildings in Sao Paulo.
Ibirapuera Park expands about 2.2 square kilometres in the downtown area of the city. It has a large lagoon, many jogging and walking paths, cycle ways, a planetarium and several museums. This makes Ibirapuera Park as important and valuable to Paulistanos as Central Park is to New Yorkers.
The São Paulo Zoological Park is located next to the Água Funda neighborhood, in the southeast section of the city, close to the headwaters of the historic Ipiranga River. It consists in a section of 0.82 square kilometres of original Atlantic Forest, a fragment of a very large area of considerable biological diversity and of high conservation priority, similar to the Amazon Rainforest of the northern-central area of South America.
A few small monkeys live in Stilt houses on a little island in the lake.
A few small monkeys live in Stilt houses on a little island in the lake.
Chimps live in large enclosures in a peaceful garden-like setting.
Chimps live in large enclosures in a peaceful garden-like setting.
False gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) is an endangered freshwater crocodile from Malaysia and Indones...
False gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) is an endangered freshwater crocodile from Malaysia and Indonesia. It may reach a length of about 5 meters.
The Sao Paulo Zoo was inaugurated in 1958. From the beginning, its mission has been to maintain a population of animals of all faunas, from invertebrates to large mammals, for public education and recreation, and for biological research and conservation programs.
African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). They are huge and because they are mostly nocturnal a...
African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). They are huge and because they are mostly nocturnal animals, during the day they are very slow moving and extremely lazy.
African lion (Panthera leo) enjoys open surroundings and a shaded den under a tree at the Safari Zoo...
African lion (Panthera leo) enjoys open surroundings and a shaded den under a tree at the Safari Zoo.
Camel (Camelus bactrianus) proudly marches in its pen at the Safari Zoo.
Camel (Camelus bactrianus) proudly marches in its pen at the Safari Zoo.
Juvenile ostrich peacefully waks against the traffic flow.
Juvenile ostrich peacefully waks against the traffic flow.
In the area of conservation, the Sao Paulo Zoo has been the first Brazilian institution to promote and actively participate in several recovery programs to protect and propagate critically endangered endemic Brazilian species, such as the golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), the Little Spotted Cat (Leopardus tigrinus), and the Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari).
Currently, the Zoo hosts over 3,200 animals pertaining to 216 species of birds, 102 species of mammals, 95 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians and 16 species of invertebrates. The zoo strives to provide the animals with ample enclosures that replicate the creatures’ natural habitats. The zoo also has nursery facilities for rejected puppies and incubators for hatching eggs of birds and reptiles. Additionally there is farm that produces part of the food that the animals receive.
Spotted deer often beg for food at the cars  windows. They are so pretty and persistent  they always...
Spotted deer often beg for food at the cars' windows. They are so pretty and persistent, they always get it.
Gentle spotted deers (Axis axis ceylonensis) are some of the friendliest animals in the Safari Zoo o...
Gentle spotted deers (Axis axis ceylonensis) are some of the friendliest animals in the Safari Zoo of Sao Paulo
Ostrich (Struthio camelus) wanders along the roads at the Safari Zoo  Sao Paulo.
Ostrich (Struthio camelus) wanders along the roads at the Safari Zoo, Sao Paulo.
Next to the formal Zoo, there is a large section called Safari Zoo. It was inaugurated in 2001 and it has a total area of 80,000 m², with about 4 kilometres of road within the forest, which visitors must travel in their own vehicle or on vans belonging to the zoo. About 300 animals wander freely around the forest and the paths. A few beasts, such as lions, tigers and other exotic animals are restricted within wide open spaces separated from the road by fences or deep dugouts. Most of the free-roaming animals such as deer, llamas, some monkeys, ostriches and emus show to be very tame and love to receive food from the visitors in the cars, which can be purchased at the entrance of the Safari Zoo. Overall, a visit to the Sao Paulo Zoological Gardens and the Safari Zoo are a wonderful and most educational experience.
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) makes full use of the tall tree canopy at the Sao Paulo Zoo.
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) makes full use of the tall tree canopy at the Sao Paulo Zoo.
Couple of Blue-and-yellow-macaws
(Ara ararauna) at the Sao Paulo Zoo.
Couple of Blue-and-yellow-macaws (Ara ararauna) at the Sao Paulo Zoo.
The Zoo and Safari Zoo are open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.
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More about Sao Paulo zoo, Sao paulo, Brazil, Atlantic Forest, Animal conservation
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