Opened in 1891 in Giza, Cairo
Zoo is found on west part of the Nile very near the
University of Cairo. 80 acres in size, the Cairo Zoo is
crisscrossed and has pebbled roads, bodies of water, and
exotic plants. Though it mainly specializes in African
species of animals, the Cairo Zoo features animals from all
over the globe.
The Cairo Zoo had once been the finest zoo in Africa
situated in a sprawling park in the center of the largest
city in the continent. But the years have not been kind to
it, especially in 2004 when it had been kicked out of the
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) after it
failed to pay its annual dues and after failing to pass the
standard of the association’s inspections.
The inhumane slaughter by two Egyptian keepers of
two gorillas suspected to have Ebola virus was the
final straw. A substantial number of birds died of
avian flu in 2006 and a couple of years later, 2
camels died at the hands of two men who broke in.
The last inspection done by the WAZA charged the
Cairo Zoo with the use of chains to restrain the
elephants and cages to small by zoo standards to
encase some of the animals.
Officials of the Cairo Zoo say in their defense that
they have no room to expand as many high-rise
buildings had been built around the institution.
They also claim that they cannot get rid of the
monuments inside the zoo as they are national
The zoo still stands today mainly because of several garden
and relics found within. It is sad that zoo caretakers need
to accept bribes from visitors to let them touch and have
photo ops with some of the animals in order to augment their
meager salaries. Since this is an illegal practice, they
face the possibility of getting fired or transferred.
For a few bucks, you can even go in to pet the animals in
their cages. This is of course not advisable, especially
with lions and tigers, but the zoo keepers will let you, if
you ask him nicely and give him enough to look the other way
while you have your photos taken.The animals in the
Cairo Zoo are housed in enclosures and are of
relatively average size. It is sad to note though
that the lions and bears are kept in small cages and
are in a very sorry state of health. Unlike in other
zoos, the caretakers at this establishment encourage
visitors to feed the animals in exchange for a
The hippo enclosure are quite noteworthy and can be
quite fun and it is possible to get very near to the
elephants. The most exotic animal at the zoo is the
haughty yet majestic Bactrian camel. There used to
be a polar bear in the premises but not anymore.
The Cairo Zoo is a
very popular place for kids and for the adults a peaceful
and pleasant place to promenade.