Chiba Zoo is one of the our favorite places to go especially when it is holiday here in Japan. Although it is quite near Tokyo, its vast space gives a more relaxed, not-so-crowded ambiance. From Nishi-Kasai, we took the train going to Chiba Station. From there we rode the Chiba Urban Monorail. At present, it holds its position as the world’s longest suspended monorail system.
The zoo has also quite a good collection of different animal species divided into seven zones. The Monkey Zone houses several chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, spider monkeys, and lemurs. Nearby the gorillas is the Animal Science Museum which serves as the information center and exhibition area. It has also a Bird Hall that serves as a sanctuary for tropical birds. Also there is an exhibition room for nocturnal animals such as bats, Loris, Kinkaju, and Paca.
After a quick picnic break, we headed to the Children’s Zone where several domesticated animals were placed. This zone is one of my favorites because we can touch or feed some animals like horses, hamsters, and sheep. After that we walked a little further to the Small Animal Zone where we saw lesser or red pandas, beavers, and otters. The red pandas are one of the zoo’s main attraction. There is even a contest for naming the baby pandas which were recently borne.
Another zone that I like in this zoo is the Progenitor Zone of Livestock that features Bisons, Cattles, and Reindeers. I like it because the animals were housed in huge spaces which allow them to move freely as if they were in their natural habitat. Similarly, the Steppe Zone is also vast giving a lot of space for huge animals like elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and kangaroos to run around.
The last zone that we visited was the Avian and Aquatic Zone. It has a deck where you can see penguins enjoying the sun. Under the deck, on the other hand, is an underground portion of the aquarium which allowed us to observe the sea lions and penguins swim.
Before we headed back to the monorail, we made a quick trip to the pond which serves a sanctuary for wild birds. Since it is on the other side of the zoo and quite secluded, we were able to enjoy its serenity.