Our first excursion today was to visit the zoo in Mismaloya south of Puerto Vallarta. It was definitely the most interactive zoo experience we have ever had and we have visited lots of zoos!
Finding the Zoo
Anytime we set out to a new destination In Mexico, we assume the logistics will not be straight forward. Today was no exception. We wound around small cobblestone streets and winding mountain roads. Upon arrival - my first question was "is it open?" There were 3 (yes 3) cars in parking lot. It was open.
As you pay to get in, you have the option of purchasing a food bag for the animals. It has carrots, peanuts, cookies, pellets and corn. The bag is printed with lists in Spanish and English on what to feed to each kind of animal. It was $400 pesos ($40 USD) for admission for 2 adults/2 kids and 2 food bags. Kids are already thrilled at the mere thought of dispersing all this food.
As you may have surmised, the distance to the animals is a bit more relaxed if you are able to hand feed them. I would not call it dangerous but Husband and I kept close tabs on boys and the animals. It was really fun to approach the animals and then find the right food - educational too. I got a bit nervous about the grey wolves that had the shoulder height wall that you could peer right over to see them right there (there is no zoom on this iPhone shot)! The kids fed goats, lamas, fish, geese, camels, bears, monkeys, birds, rabbits and the list really goes on - see the list on bag!
One particular primate gave quite a fright. Oldest Son was easing a peanut to him when he jumped at cage, screeched and showed a mouth full of sharp teeth. I screamed, Oldest Son screamed. We moved on quickly and got a good laugh afterwards.
The highlight of the day was the 6 week old lion cub the kids got to hold, pet and feed. As Youngest Son frolicked around with her, the little cub nipped him on the bottom! It was interesting that they had a puppy with the lion cub to keep her company.
The zoo was at the foot of the Jalisco mountains and just beautiful. The zoo is undergoing a multi-year development initiative that will make this a world class destination someday. The conditions are great for some animals and not for others but overall it seemed like a humane and wonderful place. They have been able to breed quite a few animals including species in danger of extinction. We will definitely be back again during this 1 year adventure.
Next post - the rest of our day ...
8 months ago