Where are the live animals?
We went to the Noorder Dierenpark in Emmen on Sunday with exar, "his girl" and jangerben. We rounded them up at 09:00 -- they said they felt like little kids on a trip with mom and dad, and acted accordingly. Luckily, after we were well underway, the pestering subsided a bit.
We located the zoo without any trouble, parked the car and bought tickets. The zoo is divided into two parts: the old part in the city centre of Emmen, and the new part, where we had arrived. The two parts are connected via a walkway.
But first, the new part. There were only two large animal habitats there: penguins and llama's. Then there was the whole water-themed exhibition area. That was quite interesting (and the turtles and the blue-point jellyfish were cool), but it had very little to do with the animals themselves. I think that's part of the evolution of zoos: no-body gets excited about animals in a cage anymore. So the zoos re-created their living environments in smaller areas, placing several different species of animals together. This gives a much more natural view, and shows the animals fairly relaxed. But the trend went on: now, we get whole ecological exhibits, explaining the importance of clean water, of how water animals live, how life on earth began, and so forth.
Two cool items: "The Living Machine", a biological water-cleaning installation which you can walk through, observing each step. And the exhibits where you can play around with earthquakes, tornados and stuff like that: they got recreated on a smaller scale which you could manipulate (via knobs and handles, but sometimes also with your hands!).
However, those things didn't have a single live animal on display -- and that's for a zoo!
Then we went to the old part, with a quick stop for lunch in cafe "Moby Dick". The old part had a few highlights, like the butterfly garden (including hummingbirds, but it was a bit too hot and moist for my tastes so I left early) and the sharks. There were also cat-like predators near the panthers who were really relaxed, but I forgot their names and I can't find 'em on the maps...
We were exhausted when we left at 17:00. We had dinner at the AC at Apeldoorn, which was reasonably good. We got home at 20:00, and collapsed in front of our computers...