This summer at the Dublin Zoo, everything was coming up babies! It seemed like every animal enclosure had a baby in it, with monkeys, giraffes, and elephants joining in the fun. It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon with my niece and nephew. In fact, it’s one of my favorite zoo visits ever for a variety of reasons, not just being able to watch baby monkeys tumble around and adolescent apes play fight for hours with their siblings.
The animal enclosures were unique because they allowed you to get up close to the animals. At one point, an ostrich followed my niece down the fence with her head only a few feet away, close enough to see her wicked beak and curly eyelashes, while zebras laxily ate grass and giraffes scratched their long necks on trees. In the lion enclosure, the roars were so loud my nephew was enthralled. We were also able to catch the end of a lecture on the new elephant by a zoo keeper, who stuck around long after the lecture was over to patiently answer questions from sticky toddlers.
Outside of the enclosures, the landscaping was beautifully done keeping visual interest with a duck-filled moats and layers of bamboo and flowers. It was so clean and well-done it reminded me of Animal Kingdom in Orlando.
The Dublin Zoo, like the rest of Ireland, has confusing signage and the map wasn’t much help as some of the habitats had recently moved. So be prepared to wander a bit! The zoo is located in Phoenix Park and is open daily from 9:30am. Closing times vary by month, so make sure to check ahead for opening hours and daily events.