Riga – Riga Zoo

I haven’t brought my proper camera on this trip, so the quality of the images isn’t quite what I’d like. By that, I mean I haven’t been able to zoom in on the animals to try and get their expressions, so my phone images will just have to suffice.

Nicely lined up, these are Denny’s tree frogs.

A rhinoceros snake.

Weaver ants, the photograph shows the magnifying glass the zoo had provided to help see them more clearly.

Crocodiles.

Two pythons.

This cat followed me for around ten minutes, and I just had to hope that it was a cute domesticated pet cat and not some wild lynx that had escaped.

A marbled crayfish.

This exhibit showed how animals, often endangered, are treated as commodities. In this case, these are alcoholic drinks with a snake in them. I can’t say that I’d be tempted to drink them.

I liked that this zoo had made a real effort to showcase its history, with old plans of the zoo and images from over the last 100 years. They also had photos of the buildings around the site and explained their previous use. I can’t recall visiting any zoo with such an interest in its own heritage.

A red swamp crayfish.

A zebra.

Urgh. A green python.

A bird-eating spider.

A fennec fox.

A marsh frog.

A common crane.

A very sweet owl who was very careful to watch me.

Palla’s cat.

A Southern tamandua.

A sunset grasshopper.

Flower beetles.

An emerald-green tree frog.

An owl.

This was very cute, I was rather tempted to get myself one, but it’s probably not the best idea. It’s a brush-tailed bettong.

The view from the rear of the zoo over the lake.

A walking stick insect.

A European pond turtle.

A leopard tortoise.

The entrance fee to the zoo was €7 and it was pretty quiet, although a Monday morning in October is never likely to be too busy. The staff member at the entrance seemed particularly buoyant and everything was well laid out. Visitors are given a free map of the site and the signage is reasonably clear.

The only slight negative was that some animals were clearly asleep inside and there was no real chance of every seeing them, as some enclosures didn’t have the facility to go inside. So the polar bear, tigers and lions were nowhere to be seen, which is perhaps though rather beneficial to their well-being in any event.

Overall, a rather lovely zoo, and there are some improvements being made at the moment to improve the enclosures. One of the original ideas for the zoo a century ago was for islands in the lake to be turned into reserves for the animals, an intriguing idea that didn’t happen at the time due to a lack of finances. Perhaps over the next couple of decades the idea could come back onto the agenda.