Talking to the Animals at Seoul Zoo

For our last weekend in Seoul, we decided to do something somewhat relaxing and visit the zoo. Seoul Zoo is located inside Seoul Grand Park — a huge recreation area about an hour’s subway ride south of Seoul. In addition to the zoo, it houses Seoul Land (an amusement park), a themed Rose Garden, a Children’s Zoo, a museum, camping grounds and more.

We happened to visit during the current MERS outbreak, so the park was practically empty, what with many people choosing to stay home. That made for a very lovely, crowd-free day at the zoo.

Our ride on the Sky Lift cable car to the entrance of the zoo was a treat in and of itself. (Though I always try not to think about how we’re just dangling off a thin cable….) It takes you over a big lake, over the children’s zoo and the rose garden, and gives you great views of the mountains, the green countryside, and the amusement park in the distance.

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Rose Garden view

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The lift drops you off at this zoo entrance:

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Though that is not the main zoo entrance. This one is:

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I was pretty impressed with how big the zoo is. We walked around for about six hours and barely got to see everything. I really liked that it’s very open, very lush, has plenty of benches, picnic areas, shade, and food and refreshments throughout. Definitely more family friendly and rest-friendly than other zoos we’ve been too.

The exhibits and animal habitats were a bit hit or miss — I’d say most of them seemed well maintained, spacious, comfortable and even fun for the animals, but others seemed pretty neglected. It was also a hot day, so many animals were passed out sleeping (with their hind legs elegantly sprawled out) while others hid inside.

We’ve been to many zoos, so I always appreciate when I see new animals in person, like this snake-necked turtle:

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Or this ring-necked Korean pheasant:

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Or the South American tapir (and its young):

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Or, my favorite, the red panda (aka lesser panda):

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Or these, whatever they are:

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Now, for a little montage of the sprawled out animals. We’ll begin with the sprawled out kangaroo (in the back):

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The sprawled out bear:

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And the sprawled out leopard (behind the rock):

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We also came across the saddest looking monkey ever — don’t worry, it was in a large, multi-level cage. He/she just chose to sit in the corner by the door looking super sad.

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And a kitler (cat that looks like Hitler):

Kitler at the Zoo

Ok sorry, back to zoo animals.

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Can you see them?

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Here’s a glimpse of the zoo grounds. As I mentioned, very open and green and plenty of places to eat and rest.

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It was fun! You can see my full gallery of Seoul Zoo photos here.

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