Destination: Chleby Zoo

May 1st was a Czech Labor Day holiday, so my family and I decided to do something fun.  My husband and I were initially thinking of bringing Jakub to the Prague Zoo, but knowing that there will be a couple of labor day demonstrations within the city, we decided against it.

After searching the net for possible destinations within our area, we have found the Chleby Zoo.


The Chleby zoo is located in the village of Chleby, out of Nymburk county.  It took us approximately 30 mins to get to the zoo from our place in Kolin.  Although the zoo was situated in a remote village, it wasn’t very difficult to find since there were road signs pointing to its exact location.

There are approximately 50 different species of animals and rare woody plants that can be found in the zoo.  But it specializes in breeding rare endangered species of birds.


However, what we found most interesting were the petting areas for the domestic animals.


First stop: the goat area.  Jakub had a lot of fun feeding the goats.


At first he was a little bit hesitant to touch them, but after finding out that they were totally harmless, he got comfortable.


He was even talking to them.  And they seemed to understand!  They were falling in line.


There was also a turtoise petting area.  It was Jakub’s first time to see and touch one.


….Here he is up close.


We then proceeded to the guinea pig petting area.


I know it wasn’t intended to be funny, but I thought the sign outside the petting area  was very funny.


In translation, it says:  “Boys up to 4 years old, girls without limitation.”  The second sign says:  “No chasing of guinea pigs.”

I was asking my husband why boys have an age limit and he plainly replied:  “…because once boys reach 4 years old, they start doing cruel, naughty things to animals.”  So that explains it.

After spending some time at the petting areas, we proceeded to look further at the other animals in the zoo.  I was lucky to snap a picture of this yawning leopard.


In the area for gibbons, the sign on the cage gives you a dose of Czech humor.


In translation, it says:  “The mobile phone belongs to the smarter one.”

But perhaps what left a lasting mark on me was this animal.  They call it Nutria.


And yes, it belongs to the rodent family.  Out here in the Czech Republic, these animals are farmed for their meat.  By all appearances, it looks like a rat but it can grow as big as a dog.  I must confess, I have innocently eaten one of  these.  It was mixed in a soup.  I didn’t know what or how it looked like back then, but they did tell me afterwards that it was an animal from the rodent family.  I didn’t seem to mind back then because the soup was pretty tasty.  However,  after seeing a live one at the zoo, I don’t think I will ever eat one again.  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It only eats fruits, vegetables and bread and is relatively clean.  But what I particularly find unappealing is that it looks like a rat.  I hate rats!

Anyhow, the trip to the Chleby Zoo was all worthwhile.  It is the smallest zoo I’ve ever been to, but it has its own unique charm.  For people with young children, this is a place I would definitely recommend visiting.

If you would like more information about the zoo, please click here.