Dublin Zoo (Dublin, Ireland)
When I started reading through my Lonely Planet: Dublin guide, I read all about the Dublin Zoo and immediately decided to go when I read that they had a world famous, and incredibly old, lion breeding program. You know the lion that roars at the beginning of MGM movies? That lion was born at the Dublin Zoo. I’m a huge animal lover (especially of cats, large and small) and hugely regret not going to the Warsaw Zoo while I was in Warsaw so I made a point to go on my first morning in Dublin.
Dublin was in the middle of a heatwave (for Dublin, that is, meaning it was about 75*) so the lions were sleeping it over, looking up only once in a while to give their adoring fans a glimpse of their face. I couldn’t get a photo of the snow leopard because he was nestled in a stone cave up a slight incline. He was having none of this heat wave.
Their offering as far as animals was pretty extensive – lions, snow leopards, tigers, penguins, monkeys, apes, African painted dogs, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, warthogs, etc. The lions did not disappoint – they were beautiful!
a very tired and probably hot lioness sleeps under a tree trunk (L) and a beautiful lion lifts his head to see who’s looking at him (R)
This tiger wasn’t coming down to say hello, but he did turn his head to say hello.
Penguins, Monkeys, an Ostrich, and Chimpanzees.
Giraffes (L) and African Painted Dogs (R)
Should you go to the Dublin Zoo? YES. If you have time and if you love animals, definitely. I spent 2-3 hours here on my first morning and I had a grand time. Having visited the Bronx Zoo and the San Diego Zoo in the past, I can say with confidence that the Dublin Zoo is a gem.