If you can find it (and Google Maps will definitely help you get to within a mile of it before it gives up and dumps you in one of them fields of sand we all know and love), Emirates Park Zoo is well worth a visit for the day. If you have kids, if you don’t have kids, if you hate being near kids, it’s just a nice all-round day out, and you don’t even need to get pissed to pretend that you’re having a good time.
They have a decent variety of animals to stare at, and while half of the park is kind of tucked away through a hidden entrance (you’ll see what I mean), and the other half was under construction or something, I actually really enjoyed it, and I usually don’t like stuff which isn’t going to brunches.
I am of course torn between whether it is inhumane to keep many of these animals in captivity in 50 degree heat or let them live in the open, natural habitat they would almost definitely rather be in, but then quite a few of them live in hot countries anyway, others have a choice between grown men hunting them with guns and shooting them for sport/money, or being savaged by other bigger animals and… well the other two species are goats and pigeons (loads of both), and they just seemed to be having the best time ever, so it’s all good as far as I can see.
Take a look at our really rather well put together slideshow of all the good lads and female animals to see what you’re missing (or not missing if you’ve already been).
This bear just continually paces around his enclosure like he’s in a prison yard, sweating, panting, and looking quite unwell. There is a sign written on a piece of A4 paper that says not to worry about him because he is 40 years old and he’s actually really happy. So that sets all minds at ease.
This is an Indian Elephant, and for 25 AED you can feed her bananas, stroke her trunk, get sprayed by water directly from her trunk for a real good laugh, and see the sheer power and size of this beautiful, gentle beast. Highlight of the zoo for me, and well worth sticking around until 4:30pm for the show. She loves entertaining the crowds this one, just look at her smile. Born to do it.
You have to think that these Ram-type things should be shaved to make them a bit cooler. Good couple of Christmas jumpers in this picture.
One of the best things you can do at the zoo is have a nice little ride on a camel. I didn’t do it. But I did want to. They always look happy these ones.
I love zebras. Stripey horses are never shit. These guys were quite friendly too. They are in a big enclosure with some deer and a giraffe. The giraffe never came over for chat, but these boys were more than happy to smile for a few pics. Not sure what he’s doing here, although it’s interesting to note that his nose looks like a scary face from a horror film.
Tiger. What a great animal this is. Not for a pet, just to look at from a distance, behind a protective piece of thick glass.
Starshaped racoons are always good. It was a touch too much for this little fella.
This lizard king looks a bit like he’s praying. And maybe he was. Praying that the kids stop banging on the glass. He doesn’t move much this one, but the reptile house is air-conditioned, so he doesn’t have the heat as his excuse.
Not sure what this is called. But it’s cute. I asked the person I was with what it was called, and she said it was a marsupial. I may as well have asked the animal itself. It liked being photographed for a while, then it started to try and piss on me, but actually only succeeded in pissing all over himself. I think he’s called a marmoset, but I can’t be sure.
Here’s another lizard. He’s green. During the time looking at these, they didn’t attempt to camouflage themselves. This is because they do not see me as a danger. This is because I am a friend of the animals.
Emus are weird things. I think this is an emu, he was listening to My Chemical Romance so I guess he must be. They just stand about with their mouths open like they just got told something unbelievable. They don’t do much else.
Goats love life. These ones are probably one of the more active animals at the zoo. They like to have a good chat with you and themselves, they like to eat this grass stuff you can buy for 10AED, and they like trying to escape by jumping over the fences which keep them locked in.
He’s seen something he wants over there. He’s gonna go get it. What is it? Some food? A hot girl monkey? A route to freedom? He’s on his way!
Aaaaaaaand he’s faceplanted. Oh well.
Lions are lazy. Every time I saw this female one she was lying down and paying me no attention at all. She’s very much like a human female in that respect. Maybe slightly more vicious? Maybe not?
Don’t worry about this cheetah. Although it looks knackered, it doesn’t really run much these days so it’s probably got loads of energy.
I waited for a long time to get this shot of the only male lion in the zoo. I watched him take a dump, piss everywhere, lie down, yawn, try to mount the female one for a bit, then finally he came near enough to nail a face-on shot.
Pigeons? Yeah there’s a lot of them dotted about the place. Like they are some kind of rarity. Rats with wings. Not sure what else to say about it. Filler.
For 25AED you can have your own face-to-face with this sea lion. She does tricks, gives you a kiss, shakes your hand. All that kind of stuff. She loves it all.
You do have to feed her a fish head each time you want her to do something, so your hands are gonna stink. And if you don’t like touching fish heads, it’s probably not for you. Fortunately, I love touching fish heads.