There’s no shortage of zoos in Ukraine, with plenty of opportunities to hang out with the animal kingdom. But which ones are the best? Many of Ukrainian zoological parks still have a long way to go in order to reach European standards; some of the facilities have already started that process. «Destinations» offers some handy information on the best zoos in Ukraine.
Askania Nova Natural Reserve
These days over 1,000 animals, such as zebra and antelope, bison and buffalo, deer and wild horses live in semi-free conditions in Askania Nova. Six species are extinct in their homelands and remain only in Askania. The zoo’s unique collection includes Indian and African antelopes, zebras, Scottish ponies, wild Przewalski's horses, saigas, and many more. The variety of birds in Askania-Nova is impressive as well: these are white and black swans, cranes, flamingos, bustards, emus, parrots, and many other rare species.
The best way to enjoy picturesque landscapes of the wildlife reserve and its unique inhabitants is to go on a safari by car or horseback. Larger groups are offered a trip in a minivan. It is not very easy to get to the preserve on public transport. The best way is to go to Nova Khahovka, which is located 75 kilometers from Askania, and take a taxi from there to the reserve.
Read: Interesting Destinations for Traveling with Kids in Ukraine
Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv Region
Feldman Ecopark is a cozy island of nature, where children and adults can have interesting and meaningful leisure time in friendly and disheveled family.
Feldman Ecopark is located in the nearest suburb of Kharkiv at the following address: 12 Kyiv Highway, Lisne, Dergachevskiy district. Everybody is welcome to visit the facility free of charge. The zoo includes more than 2,000 animals of 200 species, a petting zoo, where you can feed and pet animals, cozy summerhouses, area for yoga, a healthy food restaurant, rope playground, children’s amusement rides, stables and riding school, performances with the participation of horses and ponies, and much more.
More than 20 charitable programs are performed on the territory of Feldman Ecopark, including ideas and projects of Foundations of Rothschild, Sarah Ferguson, the Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and many others. The activity of Regional Landscape Park has a humanitarian, health and environmental focus and it covers the widest audience.
Kyiv City Zoo
The Kyiv Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the former Soviet Union and the only zoo in Kyiv, Ukraine. Situated on about 40 hectares, the zoo is cared for by 378 staff members and receives about 280,000 visitors annually. Kyiv zoo currently houses over 350 animal species.
Kyiv Zoo has recently announced that it is going to undergo a major re-organization and re-construction. The project aims at turning Kyiv Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in Europe, into modern and visitor-friendly destination. The first stage of the re-construction will include water and swamp sections for birds and reptiles, primates section and the central entrance area, where food-court, restrooms, souvenir shop, lounge zone and medical rooms will be located. The project also features the new walking routes throughout the vast zoo area, viewing platforms for visitors, modern reconstruction of aviaries, which will not have iron cages anymore, and many other pleasant changes.
12 Months Zoo
Until now there was no full year-round zoo in Ukraine, where animals got proper treatment. Recently created zoo near Kiev, called ‘XII Months’, decided to fix this problem. It provided all the conditions for the guests to dive into the interesting world of animals in any of the 365 days a year. Moreover, the zoo provides all the necessary and descent conditions for the animals: modern summer cages, winter aviaries with heated floors, a balanced diet tailored to the needs of each resident and non-stop zoo animal care. All these things ensure continuous and high-quality work of our zoo during the year.
Read: What to See and to Do with Kids in Lviv
Image source: shutterstock.com, Kyiv Zoo and Feldman Eco Park official web page.