Kaohsiung City Shoushan Zoo 壽山動物園
Kaohsiung City Shoushan Zoo
◎English written by Lin Yi-chun
◎Photos courtesy of Shoushan Zoo, Yang Chan-hua, Hou Ya-ting
Every day Shoushan Zoo opens at 9 am to multiple groups of excited kindergarten children on field trips. Shoushan Zoo was founded in 1978 and was recently renovated in 2009. It is the largest zoo in Southern Taiwan. Zoo spokesman, Mr. Chang Po-yu describes the great diversity of the animal species, the zoo's new layout and how it extenuates the distinctive landscape of Chai Shan. The most popular new feature is the new petting zoo which features docile farm animals such as Boer goats and miniature horses. Visitors can touch and feed the animals through a specially designed fence without health and safety concerns.
Shoushan Zoo is now participating in various breeding programs. The Shoushan Zoo boasts the only Formosan black bear breeding program in Taiwan. Another breading success was Sim and Ba, the popular African lion cubs. Born on February 21, 2010, they have been reared by hand by six specially trained keepers that were entrusted with only looking after them. They have an incredible sense of smell and move their ears as a sign of happiness when they recognize their keepers coming to see them. When Sim and Ba were first born, keepers worked in 24 hour shifts. Every three hours they would feed them powdered milk for cats. At three months, Sim and Ba weighed 1.5 kilograms and at nine months they were 50 kilograms. They now consume 1 kilogram of raw New Zealand beef and CAS certified raw chicken twice a day. At meal times Sim and Ba like to play around and keepers have to use various tricks to keep them focused on eating. Their diet and food portions are constantly changing as they get bigger or get sick. Sim and Ba are being moved to a new enclosure when they turn a year old. Mr. Chang Po-yu says facilities are adjusted as the animals grow and behaviour changes. The zoo also endeavours to simulate the animals' natural environment.
Shoushan zoo houses approximately 80 species. The areas include: The Petting Zoo, African Animals, Taiwanese Animals, Primates, Asian Animals and American Animals. It is well worth a visit.