The Rio de Janeiro Zoo is located next to the National Museum of Natural History, inside the huge park and gardens named Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens. The zoological garden is beautiful, with lots of green, vegetation and trees, and of course, animals from the world.
The Zoological Gardens of Rio de Janeiro City is located on the grounds of Quinta da Boa Vista Park. It is a beautiful place to the ones who loves green and nature, with lots of trees, alleys of palm trees and sorted vegetation. And of course, it has lots of animal from all parts of Brazil and the World.
Rio Zoo has animals from all over the world, and among the favorites of the public there is an Elephant, a Lion, a Giraffe, a Tiger, a Rhinoceros, eagles, gorillas and other species of simians.
Moreover, amongst the attractions, there is a huge wing of birds that might consume an entire afternoon to visit them carefully. It also has a wing of venomous animals and an special place for bats.
When we visited the Zoo in April 2008, Inside the Zoo we came acroos a snack bar and ice-cream shop where you can get braziliam ice creams and popsicles. There is also a kiosk for photos and some kind of souveniers.
The zoo has no shortage of beautiful plants around, and a distinguished alley of palms and beautiful flower beds lies in front of the entrance, as shown in a photo on this page.
A relatively new and renovated part of the zoo is an area where some animals live like in the wilderness, in a large natural habitat and over this area there is a covered walkway where you can begin a journey that provides a view of both sides, to see some animals as they live in the wilderness. Below, in this page you can read more about the fauna walkway or footbridge.
There are also several facilities for aquatic animals of larger scale and a gallery with several fish tanks, where you can see lots of brazilian species.
Animals such as lions, tiger and giraffe can be seen up close safely, and the roar of the Lion is really scary. On the picture on the right side, you can see an Arara or Macaw, a kind of huge and colorful parrot that is about one meter hight, from the end of its tail to the head. Click to enlarge the picture and see how beautiful it is. In the Rio Zoo, you can see also the true Ararinha Azul or Blue Macaw, that one that inspired the character "Blue Macaw" that took part in famous north-american production Rio:The Movie, a 2011 3D computerized animation, directed by Carlos Saldanha.
The giraffe is one of the animals that can be seen very close. Above, on the right a sequence of photos of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo. The banner is covering the gate that was in front of the former Imperial Palace of Quinta de Boa Vista in bygone day.
There is a neoclassical gate portico at the Zoo entrance that once it was in front of the Imperial Palace which nowadays houses the National Museum of Natural History. The portico was made in England, and was given as a wedding gift to Pedro I and Queen (emperess) Maria Leopoldina of Austria, by an English Lord, the Duke of Northuberland.
The zoo is relatively modern, anyway it has others old buildings, such as a beautiful and big neo-colonial and neo-baroque house at the entrance, perhaps used by the administration or some research institution linked to the Zoo or to the National Museum.
The first zoo in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil was undertaken by an entrepreneur named Baron Drummond. His Baron title was granted by the King of Brazil at the time, Pedro II after the opening of his zoo, which was open to the public.
The Baron of Drummond was a friend of Pedro II and bought from his daughter, Princess Isabel a large area of land which is now called Vila Isabel neighbourhood, where he then began an urbanization project, and where he kept residence with a collection of various animals.
The Baron of Drummond was authorized by the King to import animals, and thus implemented in 1888, in the same place, his zoo in a park interspersed with ponds, streams and gardens.
After the departure of his friend, the King Pedro II, due to the proclamation of the Republic, he went into financial difficulty to keep your project since no longer had economic aid given by the monarchical regime, since the Emperor was an enthusiastic about the Zoological Garden and the creation of parks and gardens throughout the city.
The Rio-Zoo is quite large with many dens, cages and places simulating natural environments for animals. Above, on the left, one of the monkeys place. The Zoological Garden of Rio de Janeiro has a lot of green surroundings, offering a mild and pleasant climate. Above on the right, an alley of palm trees and flower beds in front of the entrance gate.
Trying to find a way to keep your zoo, Baron Drumond invented a kind of lottery where the winner would be the visitor who guessed what was the animal that was hidden under a blanket inside a small cage at the entrance of the Zoo. When the visitor bought the ticket, he could chose a number associated with the ticket, a number that was always associated with some animal. For instance, the elephant number was 12.
Near closing time activities, at the end of each day, It was time to unveil the hidden animal, and the visitor who was with the ticket that contained the number of the animal hidden won a prize.
Thus he encouraged visitation, raised funds to maintain the zoological garden and a small part of the collection was given to the winner. Thus arose the idea of the "Bicho Game" or "Bicho Lottery" or "Jogo do Bicho".
The Zoo of Baron Drummond ran until mid-1940 when he was forced to shut down due to financial difficulties.
In 1945 was inaugurated by President Getúlio Vargas the new Zoo of Rio de Janeiro.
However the place was not the same place used by the old zoo, moving to a part of the Quinta da Boa Vista park and gardens, which is further behind the old Imperial Palace, now the National Museum of Natural History.
Fauna walkway is a kind of long footbridge, giving the idea of a suspended tunnel over an area where there are lots of the animals that belongs to brazilian fauna.
However this tunnel is protected laterally by iron handrails and roofed, thus allowing an ample vision of the animals, while you walked on the path over the area.
As it can be seen in the sequence of photos on the right, the walkway has a zig-zig form regarding its path, and it is sufficiently spacious and long, going over many parts of the area, with a view to its exterior that, where there is a real replica of environment where the animals live in the wilderness.
When passing by the place you can have a comprehensive vision of the animals environment.
In this natual surrounding environment, puddles, pools, small lakes, a stream and other elements of the region where those animals came from.
To reach Quinta da Boa Vista, the grounds where the Rio Zoo is located, you can take the subway and get off at São Cristovão Metro Station (Saint Kitts station).
When you get out the station towards to São Cristovão exit, you just need to cross the street to reach the gate of Quinta da Boa Vista park. Rio Zoo is inside Quinta da Boa Vista park, on the left side of the former Royal Palace.