In the autumn of 2013, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (the Riga Zoo is a member of the association since 1992) launched the Pole to Pole Campaign. The objectives of the campaign are to raise awareness about global climate change and to encourage sustainable and nature friendly behaviour. Already more than 100 zoos and other institutions have signed up to join the campaign. Also you, your family and your colleagues can make a difference by registering for the Pull the Plug pledge.
This is the twelfth year when February is the Tropical Month in the Riga Zoo. This year the main themes of the Tropical Month are insects and climate changes. In the Tropical house it will be possible to investigate the insect world, while in the Giraffe house the panda from the World Wide Fund for Nature will tell us about our impact on climate changes and how we can live more economically and be more nature friendly. However, in the zoo’s classroom it will be possible to participate in a creative workshop on how to make useful things out of useless things.
The Riga Zoological garden has supported the conservation of Siberian tigers and participated in European breeding program for tigers for more than 20 years. Taking part in the breeding programme and successfully pairing up these big cats in captivity is a difficult task that needs time, patience and some more patience. In 1998, a tiger house suitable for keeping and breeding tigers was built. However, for several years the attempts to pair up tigers were unsuccessful.
Even though winter has reached Latvia only just now, the Winter Nights have been running in the zoo for more than a month already. If you want to see what happens in the zoo in the evenings, hurry up! The Winter Nights will continue until January 26 and until then the entrance fee to the zoo from 16:00 to 19:00 will be only 2 euros. So far (from December 13 to January 16) more than 9000 people have visited the zoo in the evenings.
For the fifth year already, the Riga Zoo organizes the Winter Nights when the visitors are welcome to visit the beautifully lighted zoo in the late hours of the day. Every step will bring you something interesting: the lighted paths will guide your way among the enclosures and buildings, the crackling bonfire will keep you warm, and the twilight will encourage you to listen to the voices of animals. Some animal families have also prepared a little something for the visitors to see: the families of rock cavies, bushbabies, marmosets and black lemurs have little furry babies. Also the regular visitors of the zoo are in for a treat because there is an addition to the nocturnal animal display of the Tropical house – the bushy-tailed jird.
While the people of Latvia are cursing about the dreadful autumn weather, spring is celebrated in South America. The South American animals in the Riga Zoo also feel like in spring and, thus, lively baby animals are born during the Latvian autumn.
Twins have been born to a family of common marmosets, but one offspring has been born to a family of Douroucouli.
This year, pupils from the schools of Latvia were asked to collect acorns and, thus, help the animals of the zoo. The results are impressive: the children altogether have collected 8250 kg of acorns or more than 1.7 million acorns.
This year, the Riga National Zoological garden has several reasons to celebrate:
- the 101st anniversary since the zoo was first opened;
- the 80th anniversary since the zoo was reopened after the Wold War I;
- the 20th anniversary since the zoo branch “Cīruļi” was established.
To honour these anniversaries, the Animal Days – an even that is held annually in order to celebrate the birthday of the zoo – will be organized on October 12 and 13 in both the Riga Zoo and the zoo branch “Cīruļi”. As per usual, the people whose name and/or surname contains a name of an animal are especially welcome to the zoo during these days, because for those, who have promoted the diversity of the animal kingdom throughout their lives, the entrance fee to the zoo is reduced by half.
The Riga National Zoological garden was first opened to visitors in the autumn of 1912. Unfortunately, the zoo had to close already after 6 years because of the World War I. The animals were either taken to Germany or liquidated. After many years had passed, on September 24, 1933, the zoological garden was once again opened.
This year is the 80th anniversary since the reopening of the zoo.
Autumn is the harvest season, when we pick apples, dig up potatoes, and remove beans from the pods. Acorns – a treat for many animals – have now ripened and started falling off the oak trees in the dry, rustling leaves.
Also this year pupils are asked to collect acorns and take them to the Riga Zoo, so that the animals of the zoo can feast on these delicious treats.