Education and leisure Shoushan Zoo/ 寓教於樂─壽山動物園
Ecological education center
Kaohsiung's Shoushan Zoo (formerly called Hsitzuwan Zoo) was founded in 1978. The zoo ranges between 25 and 125 meters above sea level and is located in the south-east of Shoushan. Facing Kaohsiung City, it is in a geological basin whose geology is limestone and the area of which is 12.89 hectares. Within the zoo remain many coral reefs of the original Tzaishan Area, prototype plants, and many native middle-sized and small-sized undomesticated animals that live there. 80 kinds of animals are on display in the zoo. Their numbers reach to over 700 animals, including wildlife animals and animals from abroad. This zoo is the largest area for the environmental ecology of rest and education in the south of Taiwan.
Treasure our lives
Recently, in this zoo, the female elephant, Annie, died of illness. After her death, the male elephant, Ali, cries, screams and feels sad. Mayor Hsieh specially went out to Shoushan Zoo to take a look at Ali and wish him all the best. Mayor Hsieh made use of this chance for educating children that all should treasure their family and lives. Mayor Hsieh said that Kaohsiung City government was collecting old photographs of the female elephant, Annie, to remember "her". So far, many citizens have offered their photos. Also, in order to make Annie into a memorable specimen, the City government will announce an activity of "all citizens raising funds to make Annie into a specimen." Contributions of even one or two dollars will be acceptable, so it is hoped this will become an activity for all citizens of Kaohsiung. Mayor Hsieh stated: the relationship between Ali and Annie, considering these animals' intelligence and Annie's contribution to Kaohsiung City, make us feel moved and inspired so that we have another view towards animals. I hope that we will all love our animals and treasure them.
Varoius ecological activities
Besides those popular elephants, among the animals on display there are rare little pandas, the world's first Taiwanese black bear naturally bred in the zoo, etc. that are now also famous celebrities. There is also a show allowing people to feed the elephants and DIY involving parents and children─activities that have never been organize before in Taiwan, allowing parents to bring their children to experience pleasure and surprise in contact with wildlife animals. In order to put environmental education into practice and encourage understanding of the role that animals play in ecological protection, the zoo set up a team of volunteers who can fully supply visitors with Chinese explanation and guidance. Groups of over 20 people can apply for the service of a special guide one month in advance.
To supply more choices for leisure and improve its functions, the Shoushan Zoo that first created a water fountain plaza is becoming one of the most popular sites for tourism and for strengthening relationships of parents with their children in the hot South of Taiwan. This Zoo also continues to increase its software equipment for education and displays, improving its beautiful green environment, and scheduling the import of more novel animals for display in order to show off this small but fully-developed area for animals and plants education and offer everyone better quality for both educational and leisure visits.
9:00~17:00 (tickets available before 16:30), Tue-Sun.