MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Big Name Animals, Mating Lovebirds and Goat Feeding at Ueno Zoo, Tokyo

If a city has one, then there's every chance that a visit to their zoo is a priority on my list! Tokyo in fact seems to have several zoos, though Ueno Zoo was the most accessible one to us, and is actually Japan's oldest zoo, established in 1882.

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Ueno Zoo is quite small compared to other zoos I've visited but it does take up a fairly large chunk out of Ueno Park. It contains all the big name animals, although I did think some of the enclosures did seem a little claustrophobic.

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Having said that, their habitats are quite naturalistic looking, and apparently, the animals are well cared for.

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With Tokyo, armed with my camera, I sometimes wonder whether the Japanese take photographers into consideration when designing any spectacle. It's because some places just seem to produce great photos without having to use a Flash!

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Ueno Zoo is no exception, although of course, the use of cages (and their bars) and cloudy glass enclosures are understandably unavoidable. However, even in one of the fairly low-lit bird houses, I was able to capture a few shots of a mating ritual of a pair of lovebirds - one of whom was in mid-flight.

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Other shots. Green scenarios, usually in lizard houses, always seem to come out well detailed when illuminated under spotlights. Note, this insect wasn't eaten this time, as I watched long enough to see the lizard bypass it uninterested.

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A zoo wouldn't be a zoo without witnessing some kind of primal behaviour..

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Ueno Zoo is split into two main areas (East and West) which are linked via a monorail. We entered via the main entrance which took us around the East Garden first before taking the path alongside the monorail to the smaller West Garden.

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Half of the West Garden is actually taken up by Shinobazu Pond which although contains Pelicans, Storks and a few other birds, isn't as interesting as the Children's Zoo. We stumbled into the area and before we knew it, were in time to experience the goat feeding session!

After passing through some low but manned gates, we realised that goats were as common as people wandering around the open aired enclosure. A Japanese women via loudspeaker soon seemed to inform the visitors of the availability of boxes of grass, which were soon set upon by the kids (and Linh) in order to get some food to tempt the eagerly awaiting goats closer.

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The Children's Zoo also contained a clutch of chickens, animals which I am increasingly becoming fascinated with, but not on a plate. There's something about their physical make-up that seems to make a great photo subject for me.

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There were plenty wandering around, but this fine fellow, was chained temporarily on a perch. With his elongated tail feathers, its possible he may have been particularly frisky - too much possibly for both visitors and the other chickens.

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More photos of Ueno Zoo on Flickr


This entry posted in : Attractions. Japan. Tourism.

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