Every year, at the end of May the graduating Kindy classes from all four preschool´s go on a very special outing to Borås zoo, and spend the entire day there. I decided to come along, and we all had such a great time!
The zoo is situated in Borås, about one hours drive from Gothenburg. So we booked two large buses to get us all to the zoo for our adventure.
Kindy showed off their patience and waiting skills, then in no time at all the bus had finally arrived!
We ran on to the bus that was going to take us to our destination – Borås Zoo! We had a fabulously pleasant ride where we some of us sang, some slept and some cheered!
Once we arrived in Borås the weather surprised us, as the rain stopped and the sun came out to welcome us. We all felt excited as we entered the zoo to start exploring!
As we entered we were given maps, and the children quickly began to scout out the area, and talk about what they thought would be more exciting to see.
The teachers had packed apples, and snacks for us to enjoy before we took off. It’s important to have energy when taking off on a full day of adventures.
A new edition to the zoo is the 20 meter high, and 305 meter long walking bridge that takes you through part of the park high above ground! In 2014 Borås zoo held a competition where building companies would send their contributions for reviewing, and Borås zoo ended up picking a company that could combine the savannah area of the zoo, together with nordic building culture in the best way possible.
The project was upposed to be ready efter e few months but was a year late, and ended up taking about 1,5 years, but now they’re proud to present their impressive environmental friendly bridge made out of solid wood and ceder shavings.
With this new bridge they are hoping to attract guests even during winter when it is not always so nice to walk outside. It was quite cozy inside the wooden bridge.
You had a great view of the park 20 meters above ground and it was an exciting way to move through part of the zoo!
As we stepped off of the bridge we encountered the bush elephants in the Savannah area.
Of course we already knew elephants were big but we couldn’t help but be amazed by their size when we were only a meter away from them.
This particular little elephant was not leaving his mothers side, as he had not reached a stage where he felt safe in exploring the world without her. It was adorable watching the mother trying her very hardest not to step on her baby, as he was hovering under, between and in front of her legs at all the time.
The elephants tusks are actually en extension of their front teeth and are used for many things but mostly to dig with, to peel bark from trees, to show off in social situations and also to sometimes fight with…
The Savannah is shared by several african animals who all lived happy together.
Grant’s zebras were grazing, and matching with their beautiful black and white stripes.
Ostriches, buffalos, rhinos and Antelopes could also be found happy in the Savannah area.
After thoroughly observing the animals on the Savannah we scampered on!
The path took us to monkey hill where we were greeted by West African chimpanzees.
The monkeys also had an indoor area as part of their habitat, where they could freely move in and out.
Inside we met a couple of white-handed gibbons that were happy to see us and approached the window to say hello!
Later outside we passed the Borneo orangutang who seemed very content just sitting amongst the flowers in solitude.
Did you know? orangutang means “Man of the forest” in the Malay language.
Sadly 50 % of the Borneo orangutangs have disappeared during the last 60 years. This is an extremely rapid rate of extinction. This is mostly due to the deforestation in the region and the common use of palm oil in our everyday household products and food.
Around the corner of Monkey hill we met a couple of happy creatures, the banded mongooses!
About a minute away we encountered the African lions.
The biggest African predator was just meters away, but Kindy showed no fear but excitement.
And…. the Siberian tiger!
We came right on time for the feeding which some could describe as a little bit too graphic…
Still excited about all of the different cats that we had encountered, we skipped along to the next sigh which was the brown bear. The brown bear is the largest carnivore in Sweden and we were amazed by it’s size, as well as it’s fluffy fur…
This bear had just came up from a bath, as it was a rather hot day when the sun came out!
One of the brown bears was sleeping, and Kindy were quick to sing the song “Björnen sover” for him.
The brown bears were a really exciting sight, and it was a little hard to motivate Kindy to move along! We’d had a full day of new impressions with many exciting sights, and we were all ready for our lunch. So our next stop was to find a nice place for our picnic.
While eating we discussed the different animals that we had encountered, and what we found most exciting, and what we though of our day so far.
There was mostly talk about the bears and lions but some were still excited about the zebras because of the stripes. “Why do Zebras have stripes?” a child asked. There are actually many different theories, it seems unlikely that it would help them camouflague since they move in such big groups, however, study’s have shown that the stripes are a social sign for the zebras to gather into herds.
Another theory is that it stimulates grooming between animals as well as individual recognition. As every zebras stripes are different.
Another is that it would be harder for predator to single one zebra out when chasing a herd.
It was a lot of fun discussing theories. and listening to their thoughts.
After eating we were full of energy once again, and ready to continue.
“I’ve heard that they have flamingos here!” I heard as we moved along. I started to get excited about the flamingos as well but had to contain myself since that’s just one of the various animals that we were going to meet.
With maps in our hands, and determination in our eyes we moved on to other exciting experiences.
We were lucky… The next thing we were going to see were the seals, and we came right in time to see the last minutes of the seals performing!
The seal waved our way and we waved back, it seemed like he was looking for some “sälskap” after all.
Still somewhat impressed over the talent of the seal we moved along hand in hand.
At first we were chocked to be greeted by well-dressed men in suits but after a closer inspection, we realized that they were just penguins comfortably enjoying the sun!
As we came to the cafè of Borås zoo, and were met by a peacock proudly showing of his feathers. Obviously not to us, but to the female peacocks who could not have been more disinteressed..
It was rather hard for us to take our eyes away from the beautiful peacock and the dynamics between the male and the females, but once we heard the words “ice-cream”, our interest quickly shifted.
Whats better after a long day of walking in the sun, than having ice-cream with your friends?
We all seemed to agree that we could spare a couple of minutes for the ice-cream. As long as we would begin to walk, and look at animals as soon as we were finished!
Our next adventure would take us through the zoo on a Safari-train!
Hands and feet inside the train aaaaaaaaand we’re off!
The first animals we saw were the red pandas.
Although only two of them are showing in the picture, there were many more hanging around.
Next was the Eurasian elk which is Swedens largest animal, and the males usually exceed 500 kilos.
Although we had already seen the brown bear they were still just as exciting to look at, and this time we got to see them from another angle.
Two bears were kissing. The theory amongst us was that they were mama bear and papa bear!
These cute alpackas were feeding in the shade.
These beautiful animals were called eastern bongos and unfortunately they are critically endangered. European zoos have focused on preserving, and breeding this particular species in order to keep healthy animals for future reintroduction projects.
And finally, the flamingos!
“How come they are pink?”
They are actually not born pink. The food which they eat, red alges, have a substance that’s similar to what makes carrots orange. This is then absorbed by the flamingos, turning them pink!
Flamingos usually live longer than most birds, and it’s said that in captivity they can get up to 80 years. Borås zoo’s oldest Flamingo is 40 years old!
The life-size dinosaurs and extinct animals are there to say good-bye at the end of the park but they also make a great playground!
We swang and hung from some!
“I’m not scared of you!”
Some were used as slides!
I know that I had a great day at Borås zoo. I’m positive the Kindy-classes have things to talk about for a long time now after experiencing a full day of observing, petting, watching and talking about animals.