I have finally had some time to sort through all the photos taken on Monday at the Zurich zoo including tens of shots of the floor or someone's foot from my 4 years old nephew! I think we were as excited about going to the zoo with Mr T as the kids were as many colleagues had spoken very highly of the place (and we were told there were reptiles freely roaming around in a giant troplical greenhouse which sold it for us really).
I had managed to get three free adult passes and the kids went for free as they were both under 6 (very fortunate). It would have been a very expensive day out otherwise (22 CHF per adult + 11 CHF per child over 6 years old) but I believe there are yearly family passes etc... for parents with children which are likely to often go there. And you would need to because a) the zoo is very big and there are so many animals to look at and b) as I realised the attention span of a 4 years old is around 2 hours, more than that and you start dragging a whinging heavy cannon ball attached to your leg. So Mr T and I decided that we would go back in the near future together to spend more time looking at their amazing reptile collection (we DO love reptiles in this household) and to spend more time in the Masoala rainforest (big tropical glasshouse).
We were very impressed with the amount of space the animals had and the quality of the enclosures. The animals are obviously well looked after, their space is clean with loads of vegetation or branches to climb, and many have been enriched (i.e. have games to keep the animals entertained). There are also lots of peacocks walking around the zoo getting chased by the kids, a petting zoo which the younger kids will like and plenty of playing areas scattered around the zoo allowing the kids to go and play when they need a break from the animal watching.
All in all, one of my best days out in Switzerland so far despite the (few) tantrums and tears. Partially because we got in for free (yes, a free activity is an endangered species in Switzerland) but mostly because of the range of animals on display, many of which I had never seen in a European zoo before. The surroundings are very green and pleasant, and I give a big thumbs up to the zoo for making such a good job of the exclosures.
A must visit for everyone, big and small, passing through Zürich!