As the second largest zoo and one of the ten best ecological zoos in China, Shanghai Zoo has a total area of 743,000 square meters (184 acres), with an exhibition area of 47,237 square meters (12 acres). Situated near Shanghai Hongqiao International Ai rport, Shanghai Zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals including about 620 species. There are indigenous animals like the giant panda, golden monkey and the South China Tiger, and foreign animals that are introduced from other parts of the world, such as chimpanzee, giraffe, polar bear and kangaroo. Shanghai Zoo has the largest number of gorillas in China. There are a total of 100 thousand trees with nearly 600 species planted in the zoo, and the green areas have an area of 100 thousand square meters (25 acres).
In order to provide better environments for the animals and a pleasurable experience for visitors, the zoo has been constantly developing and improving the animal enclosures and entertainment areas. The following are some major exhibition areas in Shanghai Zoo:
Science and Education Pavilion
Situated in the west of the zoo’s gate, the science and education hall covers a total area of 2200 square meters. On entering the hall, you will see a large picture made of ceramic tiles on the wall showing the exact locations of 61 species of animals in the world. In the center of the hall, you will see a model showing the whole evaluation process of human beings.
There are three distinctive exhibition halls in the pavilion. The butterfly exhibition hall exhibits 1,000 specimens, including about 400 rare kinds of butterflies. Nature Conservation Hall No.1 introduces models to show people about the consequences of water loss, soil erosion and desertification caused by less and less ground vegetation.
Squirrel Monkey Ecological Zoo
With a total area of 1,000 square meters, the ecological zoo imitates the real environments of original tropical forest for the squirrel monkeys. Visiting the zoo, people are able to feel the harmony between human beings, animals and nature.
Ring-tailed Lemur Zoo
All kinds of grasses and bushes are planted in the zoo for the ring-tail lemurs to play with. Besides watching the ring-tailed lemurs from a corridor up above the lemur house, visitors are also about to appreciated the funny activities of the lemurs through a piece of one-meter high armored glass.
Chimpanzee Ecological Zoo
Being built in 1977, the Chimpanzee Ecological Zoo covers an area of 850 square meters, with six indoor exhibition halls. It keeps animals like gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons and anthropoids. The zoo provides some toys for the animals to play with, and it is quite funny to watch them playing those things.
Asian Elephant Exhibition Area
The exhibition area includes the elephant palace and outdoor playground. The elephant palace was built in 1955 as the first permanent animal house in Shanghai Zoo. It covers a total construction area of 1,550 square meters, including indoor playgrounds, exhibition halls and four hallways. The outdoor playground is planted with trees, and other facilities have already been prepared for the elephants to have mud bath and other activities. Children especially like the Asian elephants in Shanghai Zoo.
The Hill is divided into three parts: east, center and west, respectively keeps Manchurian tigers, Bengal tigers, and South China tigers. The area for each part is about 300 square meters, and they are isolated a few distances with the visitors by a ditch. Visitors can watch the tigers from far away, and it would be a great time to appreciate the vigorous moves of the tigers and hear some tiger roars.
It keeps both the two lovely animals of giant pandas and lesser pandas in two exhibition areas. Two areas are separated by a flower shelf. Bamboo forest has been built as the habitat for the pandas.
In 2010, ten panda for the Shanghai Expo from Chengdu will also be kept in this panda house for the first half of year.