A visit at the zoo is also a great activity in winter
Visiting the zoo is a classic activity: Everybody who has children, godchildren, nieces, nephews or grandchildren was at least once at the zoo. Probably when the weather was nice and with many other families. Fortunately, there is enough space for the great number of visitors. But it’s still sometimes difficult to see the animals over all the people standing in front of the compounds. That’s why we prefer to visit Zurich Zoo in bad weather – more than anything else, in winter. Find out why below.
Fewer visitors and trustful animals
In general, there are much less people at the zoo in winter. So, you have much more space in front of the compounds and grounds; everything is calmer and more relaxed. The animals can sense this too. Certainly, the animals always have enough room to seclude themselves when there are too many people for their liking. However, these calmer, more hidden places also mean that the animals are less visible.
It’s when the temperatures drop below 10°C that penguins are at their best
When, between November and March, it gets real cold, when the temperatures drop below 10°C, the king penguins and their entourage waddle a great distance through the zoo. So, why shouldn’t we do as the penguins do and only get out when it’s uncomfortably cold for humans? When it rains or even snows. Because then, we – figuratively, not literally – kill two birds with one stone: the colder it gets the better the penguins feel and the fewer visitors are crowding around them. Thus, the little ones have front row seats for the show. Suddenly they find themselves face to face with these fascinating animals.
Our kids love the penguin parade and know the rules by heart. Our daughter always remembers: "Don’t run past the penguins, don’t walk next to the penguins, and don’t touch the penguins!" But she also wondered why the penguins waddle holding their wings back in a funny way? So, she asked Basil von Ah, manager at Zurich Zoo. The answer was quite plausible. Due to the very short legs and the unfavorable center of gravity (at least on land), they keep their balance with the help of the wings - just as we stretch out our arms when balancing on a rope.
She also wanted to know why the penguins love to eat fish. In this case, supply determines demand, says Basil von Ah. Apart from fish, the selection in Antarctica is not very large. Their physique has adapted to the food source: Penguins are very good swimmers, but - despite their wings - they cannot fly.