I spent three nights in the city center of Pretoria, South Africa. I hated the city center (in much the same way that I dislike most large city centers). But I had one enjoyable day at the Pretoria Zoo, also known as the National Zoological Gardens.
The Zoo in Pretoria was surprisingly large. It cost just under 70 Rand to enter the zoo (around $7.00 USD) and it took almost all day to wander around the properly. They had a ton of animals in the zoo – not only African animals, but animals from South America and all around the world as well. Below is a random collection of photos of just some of the animals in the zoo.
The display in the photo below showed the weight of various animals in Africa. Of all the animals shown here, I weight about the same as a warthog. In fact, an adult warthog probably weights a little bit more than me.
I had never seen a hyena in person before. I had only seen them on TV. But when I spotted this hyena in the zoo, I instantly knew what it was… and I was afraid. It was a lot bigger and meaner than hyenas look on television. If I had been in the wild and saw even one of these animals (not to mention an entire pack), I would have been scared out of my mind.
The owl below was the biggest owl I had ever seen. It was as big as a small person. It was huge!
While I was at the Pretoria Zoo I noticed something strange about many of the people there: Not very many of them could read.
While there were signs all over the park saying what the animals in the cages were, few people were actually reading the signs. One girl, for example, was calling the leopard a tiger, even though the sign directly in front of her clearly said “leopard.” Of those that were reading the signs, many of them were struggling – even though the signs were usually just one or two short sentences about the animal they were seeing… and the signs were written in four different languages.
While standing at the seal exhibit, I heard the 40+ year old man standing next to me tell his daughter, “It’s a FISH!”