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Reconstruction In the Moscow Zoo
March 23, 2014 22:16


All reconstruction works in the Moscow Zoo are scheduled to be done by the beginning of the major celebrations timed to 150th anniversary of the Zoo and the City Day, chairman of Mosgosstrojnadzor Oleg Antosenkov announced.

"Moscow Zoo is one of the city’s most significant facilities. The construction process is consistently supervised by Mosgosstrojnadzor inspectors. Most violations are eliminated promptly," the head of the committee said. In the first initial complex, it is planned to replace road surfaces with ones with original paving design and to install ramps for more comfortable movement of visitors with limited mobility.

The project provides landscaping, laying of water supply and reconstruction of outdoor lighting. In addition, some parts of the fence will be completely replaced. The second initial complex provides arranging of Large and Small ponds in the zoo. The Complex of Urban Policy and the Construction of the City of Moscow reports that they plan to strengthen the coastline; to arrange the systems of engineering support; to reconstruct island and improve areas adjacent to the ponds.

Reconstruction of the Moscow Zoo implies the construction of new facilities, renovation of existing pavilions and a large-scale landscaping. "2014 is very significant for the Moscow Zoo: it becomes one and a half century old. By this date Stroycomplex intends to make a gift: to put into operation a number of renovated and brand new facilities, both in the Zoo at Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Street and in zoological nursery, located in the village of Sychevo," Deputy Mayor for Urban Policy and Construction of Marat Khusnullin said earlier.

The Moscow Zoo is a 21.5-hectare  zoo founded in 1864 by professor-biologists, K.F. Rulje, S.A. Usov and A.P. Bogdanov, from the Moscow State University. In 1919, the zoo was nationalized. In 1922, the ownership was transferred to the city of Moscow and has remained under Moscow's control ever since. The zoo had an area of 10 hectares (25 acres) when it first opened, with 286 animals. In 1926, the zoo was expanded to adjacent lands, increasing the area to 18 hectares (44 acres). The zoo's original buildings were wooden, built in the old Russian style with intricate wood trims. In 1990, the zoo was renovated. Notable additions include a new main entrance in the shape of a large rock castle, and a footbridge that connected the old (1864) and new (1926) properties of the zoo. Prior to construction of the footbridge, the zoo operated as two 'separate zoos' because the Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Street divides the properties. In addition, the zoo was expanded once more. New exhibits were opened including a sea aquarium, an aviary, a creatures of the night exhibit, a sea lion exhibit and a section aimed at children. Waterfalls and streams were added throughout to give the zoo a more natural feeling. The Moscow zoo has over 6000 animals representing about 1000 species and covers an area of about 21.5 hectares (53 acres) The zoo studies animals behaviour, feeding and reproduction, and breeds rare endangered species.
The main entrance to the zoo, built in 1997 during wide scale reconstruction to mark Moscow's 850th anniversary, stands opposite Barrikadnaya Metro. It was made to look like a fairy-tale castle with towers and a waterfall. This leads to the old part of the zoo, where the highlights include the big cats, and a neat underground viewing space below the penguin pool, as well as the sea lion enclosure that lets you watch them swim from below.

A pedestrian bridge takes you across the street into the New Territory, the most interesting parts of which are probably the primate house and the tacky but fun children's zoo, where younger visitors get the chance to see animals from various fairytales, watch chicks hatching in an incubator, and pets some of the more docile domestic breeds.

In total, about 5,000 animals of 750 species are kept in the Zoo, making it Russia's largest. If you're coming to Moscow with young children, it's probably one of the best ways to keep them entertained. Be warned, though, that it can get very crowded on weekends.

Visitors can sometimes be a little wary of Russian zoos, but there's no reason to be - the dedication of the keepers to the animals is evident, and under-funding problems have by and large been resolved. Moscow Zoo, Russia's largest, is an increasingly respected conservation institution, but the main emphasis is on children's education and entertainment - it's more about giving the city's children a chance to see and touch farm animals than about big cats in small cages.

Getting there: across the road from Barrikadnaya Metro Station.

Opening hours: Daily from 10:00 to 17:00 (20:00 in summer), closed on Mondays.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Moscow Zoo City Day    

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