Buenos Aires Zoo, Zoological Gardens
Description of Buenos Aires Zoo with information on hours, price, location and history.

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Buenos Aires Zoo, Zoological Gardens, Jardín Zoologico
Av. Sarmiento y Av. Las Heras
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: 5411 4011 9900
Hours: Tue to Sun 10 a.m. to dusk
           Open all Holidays
Cost: General Admission $6.75 pesos
         All Access Pass $12.50 pesos (about $4 USD) includes: Aquarium, Boat Ride, Reptile house, Rainforest
         Aquarium: $3.30 pesos
         Reptile house: $3.30 pesos
         Boat Ride: $3.30 pesos
         Tropical Rainforest: $3.30 pesos
Souvenir Photos can be purchased for $7 pesos each; Film and Batteries are also for sale


Feeding a Camel at the Buenos Aires Zoo

The Zoo of Buenos Aires was commissioned in 1874 by President Domingo Faustin Sarmiento.  It officially opened on November 11, 1875.  The zoo encompasses about 45 acres and contains over 2,500 different animal species.

The Buenos Aires Zoo is an interesting place to visit, but be prepared for a different experience than what would be expected at the San Diego Zoo.  I believe the zoos in the United States are much nicer than the Zoological Gardens in Buenos Aires, but the advantage of this small zoo is that you are able to get closer to the animals and you are allowed to feed some of them.

The unique thing about the zoo is that many animals are freely roaming the park.  Do not be surprised if a goat bumps into you and begs for food.  Food for the animals can be purchased for about $5 pesos (less than $2 USD) at various kiosks around the park.  There are signs at the exhibits where feeding the animals is prohibited, but most of the friendly, non-dangerous animals can be fed and even touched.

One of the more interested animals running around the zoo is the nutria.  These are large rat-like rodents that are native to South America.  They were imported into the United States in the 1930’s for their fur and have created havoc on the ecosystem in Louisiana.  These furry rodents feed on the coastal wetlands which cannot replenish itself at the same rate at which the nutria feed.  This is eroding the wetlands and causing a series of problems in the area.  In Argentina the nutria are helpful to the ecosystem and in the zoo they are friendly animals for kids to feed.

When you walk into the zoo there is an informational booth to the left and a pond with a fountain in front of you.  If you look on the far side of the pond you will see a large flock of beautiful pink flamingos.  A good zoom on your camera will show that they have brightly colored feathers on their rare side, which are almost orange in color.


Flamingo at Buenos Aires Zoo

Gray Coati Begging for Food

Watch the grassy areas in the parks for native birds and rodents that come to the zoo for the food people throw to the animals!  We saw nutria, jack rabbits and some hawk-like birds; also peacocks roam the grounds freely.  The ponds are full of koi carp, large colorful goldfish, which swarm around you hoping you’ll toss in some food.  This makes a great photo, so stand on the bridge for a minute until they all start swimming to the top with their mouths wide open!

One exciting exhibit is the coati or coatimundi, a species native to South America.  You will see lots of wild coati if you take a trip to Iguazu Falls!  The coati are raccoon like mammals, the ones we’ve come across seem very friendly, but they have sharp teeth so don’t try to touch them.  They beg for food, but you are not supposed to feed them at the Buenos Aires Zoo or the Iguazu Falls National Park.

There are a variety of monkeys, small mammals and birds at the zoo.  Some of these are in small cages; others are on the islands in the middle of the zoo’s numerous ponds, while others roam around the park.  To see the birds and monkeys that hang out on the zoo’s islands bring binoculars or a camera with a good zoom lens.

One of the most interactive parts of the Buenos Aires Zoo is the Farm of the Zoo (La Granja Del Zoo).  In this section you can pet and feed ponies, donkeys, sheep, and goats.  Be sure to buy a bag of feed before entering this section of the park, as you may find it hard to keep the goats away.  While most of these animals are behind wooden fences the goats and ducks are impossible to keep locked up; so they pester you until you give them something to eat.  This section also includes turkeys, chickens, roosters, pigs, rabbits, cows and horses.

After the Farm of the Zoo you see animals that are more traditionally thought of as zoo animals.  There are foxes, giraffes, hippopotamuses, alligators, lions, tigers and bears.  Some of the more exciting animals are the rhinoceroses, which can be seen feeding; the ostrich, who pecks at the giraffe; and the monkeys, who will put on shows for food.

The tropical rainforest doesn’t have many live animals, but there is a beautiful indoor waterfall that makes a great photo.  The tropical rainforest is a two story building with amazing plant-life.  The trees have long vines that hang on the wooden swing bridge that passes next to the waterfall.  When you exit the rainforest check the grounds for a large iguana that is kept near the exhibit.

One of the most spectacular exhibits is the Red Panda Exhibit.  There are a couple of these cute mammals hiding in the circular exhibit, so hang around for a little while until one comes out.  They are very active so you are likely to see one climbing the trees and running into the house.  The exhibit is set in a beautiful scene, the area is covered in bamboo and they even used bamboo to create a jungle gym for the red pandas.  To get to this exhibit you cross a curved bridge and head toward the Japanese temple like structure.  There is a Buddha statue in the area to bring good luck to the pandas. 


Polar Bear at the Buenos Aires Zoo

Red Panda at the Buenos Aires Zoo

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