In late March Hokkaido is still in winter.
(Just in case you did not know,
Japan is a long island approx. 3000km
from North to South.
So as we are enjoying spring in Nagoya,
Hokkaido will continue being in winter until May.)
Number of visitors are approx. 2mil. per month
(more than the biggest Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
(Ueno Zoo is very famous for Panda Bares also.)
Until 8 years ago, this Asahikawa Zoo was
almost empty and about to close.
Director as well as employees had senses of crisis.
Asahikawa Zoo does not have rear animals like Panda Bares.
Penguins, monkeys, bares, etc. (All usual)
We can see in our small neighbor zoos.
They knew they did not have much budget to spend.
So employees brought up their ideas.
They came up this.
That is people only see animals in cages in many zoos.
Why don’t we show them how animal usually live in the nature?
It seemed like a good idea,
but showing natural life of animals may cost a lot of
money to change and may cause weakening
safety of visitors.
Especially there are many children in the zoo.
How can they ensure their safeties?
Then they came up with ideas that do not expose
visitors to dangers.
Orangutans’ aerial playground
Space is not just the ground.
So they show mother orangutans with baby on
clinging on mothers’ stomach crossing the ropes located 16m high.
Penguin & Seal Aquariums
By establishing transparent tunnels in the Penguin
and the Seal Swimming Pools, people can walk through
the tunnel watching penguin and seals swimming around from below.
If you are lucky you may a seal may say hello to you!
Especially penguins swim like flying.
People re-recognize that penguins are birds by this idea.
Seals are very friendly.
They would like to watch people.
Symbiosis of Different Animals
Visitors have no time to be bored.
These ideas were successful,
and the zoo became very famous of their ideas,
not by buying new expensive rare animals.
I visited the zoo one cold day.
Many animals were taking naps on the fresh white snow.
They looked like they were on the warm cotton.
But aren’t they cold???