Adventures of a foreigner in the south of Brazil.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The zoo of Sapucaia do Sul

Sunday, and the sky is overcast. In short, a good day for a visit to the zoo, something I had been planning for a while. There is a rather large zoo in the region, at Sapucaia do Sul, about 25km from Porto Alegre. Coming from the south one has to make a turn at São Leopoldo.

The first impression: The zoo is large, lots of nature abounding and not as polished as the typical city-zoos in Europe. And it is a zoo inside a subtropical region. The feeling here is decidedly different.

It is, on this Sunday, rather full, but still to some extent possible to escape from screaming kids and parents. Not, of course, at the main attractions. The areas for the animals are quite different, and - typically - the large cats and the bears get the small cages. One thing I found deeply disturbing is that the retreats for these animals are closed and they are forced to remain in full sight of the visitors all the time. Considering that about a third of the male adults in the zoo obviously are cretins of the sort that thinks it proves something other than abject cowardice to meow and growl at animals behind bars this comes very much under the heading of "not a good thing". Plus, there appear to be almost only single male carnivores here, which I would also consider to be not a good thing.

The plant-eaters have it a bit better in that respect. Their areas are larger, with some possibilities for hiding, and they seem to come more often in pairs than the carnivores.

The whole area is quite pretty, and I spent some three hours walking around. On the whole I can recommend going there, but if you are looking for a quiet time do not go during the weekend. [Photos]

The official web site of the zoo can be found at In case all the animals inside make you hungry the zoo does have a churrasco area, just the same as Sushi bars, toy stores, barbie dolls and artillery guns in this region. It's just one of those things.