Learn more about the one the biggest zoo in Spain - the Madrid zoo and the Madrid zoo aquarium.
A trip to the Spanish capital would be incomplete without a visit to the Madrid Zoo Aquarium; or Zoo de Madrid as it is called in Spanish.
A short trip east in the Madrid subway from the center of the city will take you to a large park area known as Casa de Campo. The Madrid Zoo, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012, is located next to this natural area. Over the years the popular Spanish zoo has continually added and updated its installations including an area dedicated to dinosaur replicas.
The Madrid zoo boasts over 5,000 animals of more than 600 species. However, the most famous is undoubtedly Chu-Lin, the first giant panda bear born in captivity in Europe in1982. The Madrid Zoo Aquarium acquired Chu-Lin's mother from China when King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia of Spain brought her back with them. A known animal lover, Queen Sophia is also the godmother of Po and De De, panda cubs born in 200 in the zoo in Madrid. The Madrid zoo in Spain is one of the few European zoos where visitors can observe giant pandas.
The pandas are not the only attraction to the Madrid Zoo Aquarium. The Spanish zoo also provides a home to a wide range of other exciting animals including sea lions, with their funny daily shows; or the majestic dolphins with their elegant jumps and spins. The zoo also provides a home to a wide variety of birds of prey with daily shows in which they demonstrate their amazing speed as they swoop down to snatch the bait held out by their caregivers. Other animals that draw a lot of attention, in addition to the giant pandas, are the intelligent great apes, silly penguins, active baboons or majestic and rare white tigers. All of these shows and animals provide for a fun filled day with family at this zoo in Spain.
For visitors to the Madrid Zoo Aquarium with small children, the zoo also offers a special petting area that was renovated in 2012. Here, children can learn about and touch a wide range of different domestic animals.
Another interesting aspect about the Zoo in Madrid is that it features more than just exhibitions to observe the animals. The Spanish zoo promotes a program called Chat with the Animals which gives the public the opportunity to interact with the animals in various ways. Caregivers will teach people about the animal, its diet and more while providing an up close and personal interaction with the public. The Madrid Zoo Aquarium established the program as a way to not only provide the animal with physical stimulation but also to teach visitors about the inner workings of the zoo itself. Assist a Chat with the Animals event at the Madrid Zoo and you may even be able to touch one of these exotic animals. Some common animals featured include kangaroos, koalas and lemurs.
In 1995 Zoo Madrid became Zoo Aquarium Madrid with the addition of a new pyramid shaped building dedicated to marine species. The aquarium part of the Spanish zoo has also found ways to provide interactive experiences to visitors. For example, kids can sign up to spend the night sleeping alongside the shark tank and experienced divers can even dive with the prehistoric creatures. The Madrid Zoo also hosts other activities such as camps, birthdays and business events. The Zoo Aquarium in Madrid also provides an opportunity for young university students to study.
The Madrid Zoo Aquarium is one of the many recommended parks to visit during your stay in Madrid. For action seekers, look for special package offers to visit more than one of Madrid's theme parks.