Belgrade Zoo

During a summer holiday San and me spent together, we went to Belgrade zoo one day. In past, I was always sad after visiting it, place was not managed well and I know that during `90s, there were not enough food and some animals were starving there. For last 20 years I was there 3 or 4 times and I hate that feeling it usually left in me. Well, except that one time when my parents brought me and my brother for a first time during `70s. My father was overconfident and came too close to llamas and got spat right in the face :eyes: ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† I don`t think he ever went to zoo again and, being thought by his experience, I was avoiding those evil animals ever since :left:
On the other hand, you know the saying: even golden, a cage is always a cage. And this one looked more like a prison. But in last few years some improvements were done and I hope in nearby furture a city will do even more. Maybe even to find a new location with more space – there are 2000 animals in only 6 hectares and management of Belgrade zoo was critisized for that.

It was a lunch time when we entered so some animals were either eating – like this family of owls – or already went back in some shade to sleep through the rest of that hot afternoon.

Yes, how rude turning its back on us.

Well, as I said, most of big cats were either sleeping (What was a magpie doing there?) or laying around digesting meal.

I wonder is there someone employed to do his hair? :left:
Doesn`t matter. A bit of a history of zoo: it was opened in 1936. and after having only 3,5 hectares it was soon expanded to 7 then to 14 hectares and stayed like that until the beginning of World War 2. First animals were big cats, bears, wolves, birds, primates and exotic herbivores. During bombing in 1941. and 1944. all animals were killed except few, and one of them is still in the zoo.

This is Muja (read as Mooya), probably one of the oldest aligators in the world, brought to Belgrade zoo on September 12th, 1937. He survived both bombings and after ฤŒabulitis, another American aligator, died in 2007, became the oldest known specimen in the world. For a long time I was not sure this is real aligator but a rubber model, I never saw him moving. Of course I never tested that – well, there are a lot of signs saying that it is forbidden to disturb and feed animals. My father tried to feed llama with roasted peanuts and we all know what happened after :left: ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

There are some endangered species there, like this Bearded Vulture. In past it was the biggest Serbian bird but today it is extinct in most of the Europe. There were one female in Macedonia but was poisoned and died. Actually, someone was poisoning wolves :furious: and poor bird was colateral damage. I am sorry I missed to photograph a moment when it spreaded its wings – more than two meters in span!!!
Most of the animals were not interested in us at all but some were very curious. Like this horned owl.

The others were suspicious…

… and one of them quite annoyed by my interest in him… or her :left:

Mountain Hawk Eagle
I tried to explain in a calm voice that I only want to make a photo, but it was jumping up and down, spreading wings and warning me to move away…. :left:
San had more luck with goats ๐Ÿ˜€
As I said, some improvements had been done in last several years since my last visit to zoo. Big cats got the biggest area and some of the bars were removed and they put glass instead. I am still not satisfied with place where wolves and bears are – this is why I didn`t photograph them – and they will hopefully find a bigger place for a cougar. His cage is not more than 15 square meters big and this is a shame. Whoever knows anything about those big cats, know that it needs big area to live. Also they have too many parakeets of all kinds and place with snakes could be improved.
On the other hand I was happy to see some new species – Green Iguanas and Mertens` Water Monitor, also Cangaroos, different sorts of Pheasants and some birds I have never seen before.

Mertens` Water Monitor
These and rest of the photos you can find here. If you think that I made a mistake in identifying animals, please feel free and correct me – I am not biologist and some of the species were completely unfamiliar to me.
I know that Adele and Words will check on that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hmmm, that magpie again…..

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69 Responses to Belgrade Zoo

  1. Furie says:

    The lion in the fourth picture down looks kind of like Martin… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Actually, someone was poisoning wolves

    That's bloody disgusting! :furious: That the bird got caught up in it as well is truly sad.

  2. gdare says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    The lion in the fourth picture down looks kind of like Martin…

    Now, that you mentioned…. :left:Bearded Vulture is feeding with was is left from dead animals and this is how it got poisoned :awww:

  3. gdare says:

    San told me about a zoo in Vancouver (?) – maybe somewhere else – where they actually have animals sort of out in the open and visitors are riding on a train or some vehicle among them. That will be nice to see in Belgrade.. or somewhere around Belgrade. There were plans to remove zoo from Kalemegdan fortress ie. from a center of Belgrade to an island on Danube, just across the city. But I think that idea was dropped for now because of lack of money to do that.

  4. Furie says:

    Poor thing. They look like they could be such noble creatures outside of captivity too. I always kind of feel sorry for carrion eaters.

  5. spooksister says:

    There is never enough room for these animals and so there is always a sadness to see them penned up. :(But… if we can insure their lives are the best they can be under the circumstances, they do so much to educate the public and we gain an appreciation of all animals ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. gdare says:

    I`ve read an article about Bearded Vultures in Southern Serbia. They were last in a food chain and when people started to hunt wolves and foxes down to extinction, they disappeared too. People hunted them too because they thought they are catching a lamb – but most of its diet was a bone marrow :doh:The problem was that female got only one or two eggs per year. Not enough for successful breeding.

  7. Spaggyj says:

    Is the third owl in the first picture regurgitating or something?YAY for new species of lizards! (new to me anyway)

  8. SqueakeyCat says:

    beautiful photos. most of these animals I have never seen except for on television. wish I had the chance to be able to actually see them.

  9. gdare says:

    Kimmie, it is having a piece of meat in its beak. They looked so funny. At one point almost all of them chewed on something :DKim, I said to San that I don`t think I will ever be closer to some of those animals, except if don`t go to safari or something…

  10. SqueakeyCat says:

    ah, ok. Yeah, safari would be interesting as well.

  11. gdare says:


  12. SqueakeyCat says:

    Originally posted by KayFour:

    without zoos, there are so many animals we would never get close to.

    so true

  13. KayFour says:

    You are right about zoos being somewhat distressing because the animals are caged. I know it is for their protection as well as ours. Most zoos are now trying to improve the conditions for the animals, which is a good thing and also, without zoos, there are so many animals we would never get close to.Lovely pictures!

  14. Aqualion says:

    Correction: that lion looks exactly like me. Even I smiled when I saw it, even before I read your comments.You had nice weather, I see.

  15. Stardancer says:

    I really like the closeup of the owl. Such a beautiful face.Some really good shots, Darko.:up:

  16. Spaggyj says:

    Ah, meant fourth owl. I see it's meat now :doh: ๐Ÿ˜† for birds, they're pretty cute. It's nice to see animals at their casual(ish) lives.

  17. gdare says:

    Kay Four, thank you :DMartin, we have a hot weather. That particular day when we went to zoo was hot but not unbearable. Last few days are way too hot and humid. And they`ve promised us over 39C by the end of the week :ko:As for lion, at moment I thought he had some kind of wig or something :DStar, photo of that owl is the best shot I made that day. And I could easily spend a lot of time photographing it, it was so curious and was following every move I made. Less than 30cm from my camera :DKimmie, those owls were in the same cage as the one I did close up photo. But they decided I was not trustworthy, for some reason :awww:

  18. L2D2 says:

    Nice post Dare. Yes, I agree they need to improve conditions for the animals Those bare cages with the birds look truly bleak. Animals need stimulation or they get depressed. Birds are very prone to that and develop behavior problems if they stay too bored. Hopefully, the zoo will get the funds to keep up with a better, more natural habitat for them all. Nice photos, and I like the owl, also.

  19. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    As for lion, at moment I thought he had some kind of wig or something

    Oh, that would be my other hairdo.OMG it's been ages since last time I had the opportunity to use that line. I used it a lot back in the nineties when I was in my twenties and everybody wondered why I had no hair. For the record: I started losing my hair around 22. It's a family weakness, my father had the same and my brother too. Gives so much more perspective to the nick I use.

  20. gdare says:

    Linda, thanks. Everyone seems to like that owl :DMartin, I remember you`ve told me about your losing hair as very young. But last 20 years it is popular for men to be bald. Besides, I think it looks good on you. I would not be able to recognise you if you suddenly got some hair :left:

  21. SittingFox says:

    Hi Darko, very interested to hear your thoughts about this zoo. I've heard a lot of horror stories about zoos in eastern Europe and it's good to see things have improved a little here. Of course, it's never the same as being in the wild, but I guess things are better than it used to be. Personally I think that some species can never be kept humanely in zoos, and probably shouldn't be bred in captivity any more, but we have to look after the ones that are already in there. As for the wolf poisoning…some things never seem to change :(The magpie made me smile though :DNow I'll go and have a look at your album ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Of course I never tested that – well, there are a lot of signs saying that it is forbidden to disturb and feed animals. My father tried to feed llama with roasted peanuts and we all know what happened after

    If you only got spat on by that alligator I'd say you got off lightly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. sanshan says:

    That zoo was in San Diego. It's more of a safari… went there when I was a teenager…long time ago. We took a train around the park. It felt like being in Africa. And the animals had a lot of land to roam on.

  24. gdare says:

    San, well, in time, I hope we will go there together :yes:

  25. gdare says:

    Adele, I saw magpies all over this place. Along with pigeons, they got themselves a good feeding points :left:Mick, I don`t think he would know how to spit. His specialty is a bit different…. :left:

  26. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Besides, I think it looks good on you

    Thank you. Looks a lot better than if I let it grow. Two months without cutting it and I would look like this guy:

  27. gdare says:

    Green? Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  28. Aqualion says:

    My wife says I look like this guy when I forget to cut my hair.

  29. theoddbod says:

    Twisted firestarter :insane:

  30. SqueakeyCat says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  31. gdare says:


  32. Words says:

    It was good to read about how things have improved though I always feel uneasy about zoos. Nice photos though, and the lion does have a beautiful mane.

  33. gdare says:

    I remember, in past there was, so to say, usual lion, not a white one. Now it seems only this one remained.Thanks, Words :cheers:

  34. Cois says:

    awesome shots. :up:.So the alligator is one of the oldest specimens. But how old was it before it was brought to the zoo? :sherlock:

  35. gdare says:

    They don`t know. He was already grown up when they bought him and put in a zoo. He is probably around 80 now. Thanks :cheers:

  36. edwardpiercy says:

    Great photos. I'll check out the other collection in a bit. That lion looks like an 80's rock star. :lol:Well you know I'm not an optimist, but I think that the zoo will improve. Has there been any public input into getting money for it?

  37. volkuro says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    where they actually have animals sort of out in the open and visitors are riding on a train or some vehicle among them.

    We have a place like this in Quebec too: post ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. gdare says:

    Oh, I have seen those foxes, fennec foxes, in our zoo. We have a pair, cute little creatures :DYes, this is a place I would like our zoo to be like. Thanks for link :up:

  39. PainterWoman says:

    Nice photos of the zoo Darko. Always a favorite are the big cats but they do seem to sleep a lot. I think only once have I ever seen them walking around or, one time, mating and roaring. It was one of the males who had just mated and, I guess, he was quite pleased with himself.The Phoenix Zoo had several very small areas for some animals and I couldn't stand it. Didn't go again for quite a while. I visited it last year before I moved and was pleased at how it has expanded. Two animals I'd love to see again were the Maned Wolf and the African Wild Dog. Very strange looking animals.

  40. I_ArtMan says:

    i like the owl and the rubber alligator. and of course the hairdo on the lion… :happy: it's a very good zoo and you did a thorough job of documenting it. :up: :coffee:

  41. gdare says:

    Scott, rubber aligator ๐Ÿ˜† Interesting that you thought about him that way too :DThank you :cheers:

  42. gdare says:

    Pam, I googled about maned wolf. It look more like a fox. Strange animal indeed.Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. edwardpiercy says:

    BTW Darko, with regard to the improvements that I mentioned, I was thinking this morning about the Beasley Turtle Hospital in North Carolina. The hospital receives no State or Federal money. They run on volunteer contributions. And yet back in 2007 they were even able to build a new hospital to replace the small, not very nice older one. It can be done!

  44. gdare says:

    Well, on our zoo`s website, they have phone nubers for donations and any kind of help, but I don`t think it help a lot :awww:

  45. MirabelaTM says:

    Last time I visited the Belgrade zoo was when I was a kid. I would like to visit it again. Great photos :up:

  46. gdare says:

    Thank you. You should take some time on one of your next visits :up::sst: Try to avoid winter :left:

  47. There2ia says:

    Are there winter animals in the zoo?

  48. sanshan says:

    There are a couple of polar bears. I felt sad for them.

  49. gdare says:

    Yes, polar bears only. And I am not happy with place they are in :awww:

  50. AnitaMargita says:

    Nice photos. :up: Last time I went there a couple years back. I want to go there again soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

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