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This review submitted by NIELS JOHS LEGARTH IVERSEN,
Some visitors to Riga never get outside the town centre. But some of the more interesting places are far from the historic centre. This is true for the fine open air museum, and also for the Zoo, which is to be found in the large Mezas Park in the north eastern part of the city, 7 kms from downtown. You have the choice between an ordinary new tram and a friendly old veteran tram from the beginning of the century to get out there; both have the end terminal right at the zoo entrance. The Mezas park contains a large lake, an amusement park, sport facilities and so on, but its prime gem is the large zoo, which boasts about 3000 animals of 450, - though, what use is an animal count that lumps together elephants and pigeons? Nevertheless this is a fine large zoo, where you can easily spend half a day. You enter through the old portico from 1912, and first arrives at a bird lake with cormorants and other northerly birds. From here you can either walk left towards the elephants or right past the aquarium (not too exciting) and a kiosk to a road fork, where the right path leads upwards through a wooden area past the maned wolwes towards a large lions enclosure, the left one to the more densely populated middle zoo. In this central area you find most of the hoofed animals, plus a circular crocodile pond (they've got an alligator from 1935!), monkeys and more birds. When you reach the cangaroo enclosure you know you are near the far end of the area, and here you find the ordinary tamed horses.. I have tried to figure out a principle for where each animal is placed, but it seems there is none. Just walk along and look, forget about structure. Somewhere you will find what you are looking for. The pride of the zoo is their large herd of kiangs, wild asses from Tibet, which are seriously rare in the wild. Another strong point is their array of eight bear species.
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