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article imagePhoto Essay: An urban safari on the coast of Spain Special

By Anne Sewell     Sep 14, 2013 in Travel
Fuengirola - It is so easy to forget that a whole different world exists just around the corner in the popular Spanish seaside resort of Fuengirola. Every now and then I have to remind myself by visiting yet again.
Right in the heart of town lies a very different environment amidst the concrete jungle. Lodged between the cinemas and the local bull ring is a leafy and green oasis which literally takes you to another world.
My last visit to the Bioparc Fuengirola was in spring, just as the cold winter weather ended, and the warm spring sunshine came out.
During the hot summer months of July and August there have been queues of people constantly pouring in and out of the Bioparc, so I decided to give it a miss.
But now, at last, temperatures are gradually falling as summer ends and autumn slowly begins, so here I am again. Unfortunately with the current cloudy weather some of the skies are a little white, but the sunshine did peek out every now and then.
Previously I have tended towards closeups of the animals in the Bioparc, but in this photo essay I would like to give an idea of the green and leafy space and natural environments enjoyed by the Bioparc residents.
Here is the pygmy hippo environment, with humans looking on from a bridge above:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - The Pygmy Hippos.
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - The Pygmy Hippos.
The chimpanzee family enjoys a similar environment right next door, with plenty of opportunity for climbing:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - The chimp enclosure.
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - The chimp enclosure.
On visiting the meerkats, it was interesting to capture what looks like a meerkat on the outside, seemingly living in freedom, looking in at enclosed humans:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Meerkat looking at humans.
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Meerkat looking at humans.
I caught one looking a little coy too:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Meerkat (suricat).
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Meerkat (suricat).
The gorilla enclosure is actually pretty spacious (as can be seen here), but it also has a couple of glass viewing points. I somehow captured the reflection of people looking in at the rather sad-looking Silverback inmate:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Gorilla
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Gorilla
Previously I have had problems capturing photos of the Sri Lankan leopards. Normally the best you can get is a shot behind glass, but today I was a little luckier, capturing one of them standing at the back of their enclosure:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Sri Lanka Leopard.
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola - Sri Lanka Leopard.
On visiting one of the bird aviaries, I came across an interesting looking fruit bat, who seemed to find me interesting too:
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola -
Scenes in Bioparc Fuengirola -
On the whole I am against the idea of zoos, particularly in places where animals are kept in tiny cages. However, Bioparc Fuengirola has been designed to give the best possible life to the animals in its care. Most species are successfully breeding on a regular basis in the Bioparc, including the tigers, orangutan and various monkey and ape species. Much is done by the Bioparc and its staff to assist endangered species both on the premises, and by collecting funds for outside agencies.
Related articles:
Bioparc Fuengirola, Spain revisited (photo essay and video)
Bioparc Fuengirola, Spain - not simply a zoo
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