Kyoto City Zoo

April 16, 2007

by Tomoya Hirao; Yoshimi Morino; Yuki Fukuhara

Entrance   Simple Map
The Kyoto City Zoo is the second oldest zoo in Japan. It has been more than 100 years since it was established. It’s very old. Actually, not only local people but also tourists visit there all the year around. In Kyoto, there are a lot of tourist attractions, ruins, temples and castles to visit, but if you come to Kyoto, you should visit the Kyoto City Zoo because it is very attractive. If you visit the zoo, you can push unpleasant things out of your mind and your feelings will be running high because of the various kinds of animals. So, we are absolutely sure that the Kyoto City Zoo will help you deal with your feelings about uncomfortable issues and make you happy.
First of all, let’s look at the Kyoto City Zoo’s history. On April 1, 1903, the opening ceremony was held. In those days, there were 61 species of animals and the number of animals in the Kyoto City Zoo was 238. The zoo had fewer animals than now. Today, the Kyoto City Zoo has 170 species of animals. But actually, the number of animals in the zoo has been further increasing. To us, it’s a piece of good news. We love animals and the Kyoto City Zoo, too. Animals in this zoo were and are really loved. In 1910, two lions were born in the zoo, which were the first born in Japan. The lion is a large powerful animal of the cat family. Lions could be very dangerous, that’s why you can’t touch one in the zoo. In 1913, the tenth birthday of the zoo was held. Many people came over. At that time, the Kyoto City Zoo had 156 kinds of animals. The number of animals in the Kyoto City Zoo was 274. So, there were indeed more animals than at the opening ceremony. In 1933, a hippopotamus was born in the zoo, which was the first one in Japan. Not only the staff of the zoo but also local people were glad of the birth. But sad to say, the hippopotamus baby died soon. Regrettably, no one could save its life. In 1944, because of World WarⅡ, the Japanese army forced the zoos throughout Japan to kill some kinds of animals. At that, the Kyoto City Zoo was forced to kill all bears, lions, tigers, leopards, etc. That’s because such ferocious animals as lions and tiger could be very dangerous and might attack people if they escaped from the zoo. Many animals in the zoo were killed. That’s too bad. Anyway, the number of animals in the Kyoto City Zoo decreased suddenly in 1944 to 1945 but after the World WarⅡ, the number of animals in the zoo has gradually been increasing. In 1970, a gorilla was born in the Kyoto City Zoo, which was the first one in Japan. The gorilla was called “Mac”. The 100th birthday of the zoo was held on a grand scale in 2003. On that day, the local newspaper had a long report on it. In fact, many people celebrated it. At that time, the Kyoto City Zoo had 175 kinds of animals and the number of animals in the zoo was 721.
Needless to say, there are a lot of animals in the zoo, but let’s focus on the most popular ones. An interesting vote was conducted recently. According to the vote, the lesser panda, or red panda, is the most popular animal in the Kyoto City Zoo. Certainly, a lesser panda looks really cute and lovely. Many people do love it. Lesser pandas like eating fruits and some kinds of insects. As they are nocturnal animals, they often sleep during the day. Then, it seems that the amur tiger is the second most popular animal in the Kyoto City Zoo. An amur tiger looks wild and awful, but we love it, too. What a cool animal it is. Amur tigers are meat-eating animals and can be dangerous. Indeed, some people say that they are the strongest animals in the world. They are powerful! Next, the giraffe is the third most popular animal in the Kyoto City Zoo. As everyone knows, a giraffe has a very very long neck. Such a long neck looks so attractive that many people, especially children, like it. In addition, giraffes have a tongue long enough to take leaves from a tall tree. Their favorite foods are fruit, carrots, and leaves. According to the vote, the Asian elephant is the fourth most popular animal in the Kyoto City Zoo. Asian elephants are the largest animal in the zoo. When you come to the zoo, it is worthwhile seeing them. Finally, it seems that the Brazilian tapir is the fifth most popular animal. The tapir is an animal like a pig with a long nose. Wild tapirs mainly live in Central and South America and South East Asia. Full-grown tapirs are more than two meters long. They are much bigger than human beings. In the Kyoto City Zoo, there are not only famous animals but also rare animals such as tapirs.


Asian elephant
Brazilian tapir

Amur tiger                                   Lesser panda


Finally, if you want to visit the Kyoto City Zoo, the zoo is open 9:00 a.m. and closes at 5:00 p.m. from March to November. From December to February, it is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This zoo is closed every Monday, but open Saturday and Sunday.
Here are some more pictures of the zoo.

5 Responses to “Kyoto City Zoo”

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  1. Anna Bua says:

    In 2000 I visited the Zoo and I think I can see that number of elephant to two and giraffe and still got the photo of giraffe and background. I was so excited as we don’t have animals like that in our country and manage to get photos for my grandchildren to see them. Its sad that the one of the animal keepers was killed. I never forget when I feed the gorilla in his den with peanuts. Good memories and you should start one in our country as some animals like our weather. Keep the good work and feed the animals on time as when they are hunger they will attack the keepers.

  2. Claire says:

    This zoo is awful. The cages are far too small, there is nothin for the animals to do, there is no cover, shade or hiding places for them to escape the crowds, or summer heat. The animals all look depressed and sickly. The Tigers were so thin I’m concerned about them. The monkeys had sores, and the hippo looked so sad in that tiny pool. None of the birds had space to fly. Yet the zoo managed to make a large space for a water feature. Why not give that space to the poor animals! This place made me cry. It’s outdated and cruel. Shame on you for promoting this animal abuse!

  3. Kristina Gaudet says:

    Absolutely horrifying. The most traumatizing experience I’ve ever had. This zoo is tiny, out of date, and seems as if the zoo keepers have absolutely no knowledge of caring for the animals let alone having any sort of empathy or understanding of the species they are responsible for! At least that’s what it looks like! The lion – the first animal you see upon entering this tiny Hell is suffering in a tiny glass prison, starved to a skeleton, with matted fur. The hour we spent here we heard him roar in distress,saw him pace in circles, or simply laying limp and helpless and bored. WOW! The tigers are the same, separated, pacing, malnourished. The hippo is in a concrete green pool with no dry space, no plantation, no lighting, no stimuli whatsoever! Is this a zoo to care for animals or a hell jail for them!?!?!?!????

  4. Gina says:

    Its 2018! Kyoto, stop institutionalizing wild animals!! Your zoo is inhumane and a disgrace to animal “conservation”! All animals should be free and at the very least in an open range facility!!! Just heart breaking.

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