In 1993, the Turkish engineer Faruk Yalcin opened access to his botanical garden to visitors. In addition to the plants of Turkey, rare birds and fish ponds could be seen in the park. Now this area is the largest zoo in the country, which is part of the EAXA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums). What is the Faruk Yalcin Zoo today, and what it is interesting, we will tell in this article.
Zoo and botanical garden area
The zoo and botanical garden are visited by 500,000 guests each year. 150,000 students come for internships and volunteer help. Schoolchildren under the guidance of teachers also take part in caring for the animals.
On an area of more than 140 thousand m2 planted about 8000 plants, representatives of more than 400 species. Faruk Yalcin gathered a collection of Turkish flora. Subsequently, representatives of other countries and continents added to the garden.
The area of the park is divided into natural zones:
- South America;
Despite their compact size, the animals live in spacious aviaries equipped with ladders, obstacles, and ponds similar to their natural habitat. Judging by their healthy appearance and friendly disposition, they live quite well. Every year the zoo gets new animals.
What animals can you see in the zoo?
More than 200 species of animals can be seen in the enclosures of the park. 62 species are listed in the Red Book, while 52 are on the verge of extinction and without reliable protection will follow the ranks of the endangered. In all, Faruk Yalçın Zoo has over 2500 residents.
The animal world of the zoo is divided into classes. Predators live isolated from each other. Lions, pumas, jaguars and bears each manage their own territory, fenced with double netting. Security measures protect not only the visitors, but also the animals from the excessive attention of the guests.
Among mammals you can meet kangaroos, tapirs, red foxes, lemurs and many monkeys of different species. Children are especially amused by pygmy monkeys, and adults do not mind watching the behavior of primates. Chimpanzees, golden marmosets, and white-eared marmosets live in the tropics.
Giraffes, zebras, camels, and other heat-loving animals move into heated rooms during the cold season. Chimpanzees even allocate blankets, which they know how to use. Brown bears, on the other hand, do not hibernate in the winter like they do in their homeland. Their ration is calculated so that the fat does not accumulate, and the animals remain in good physical shape.
Reptiles and amphibians are brought in from all over the world. Swamp turtles from Europe, the Indian python, the Nile crocodile, the South American green iguana, and the North American 2-meter crocodile make themselves at home. South African spectacled penguins are almost never seen in the wild. They are under special observation at the zoo as an endangered species.
The small aquarium of the zoo is home to about 20 species of fish. In the building of the aquarium it is nice to hide after the summer heat. Among the aviaries, unpretentious carps swim in the pond.
The zoo is called the birds’ paradise for a reason. The spacious rooms for birds are planted with trees and bushes. There are fountains for the birds. Waterfowl, such as pelicans and ducks, have a pond or flowing reservoir. From all sides one can hear the bird’s cries – the throaty cries of peacocks, the laughter of mockingbirds, and the humming of parrots. The choir singing of frogs can be heard from the swamp. Only raptors – eagles and hawks – are silent.
Please note! Feeding animals, birds and other pets is forbidden in the park. For this reason, as well as for hygiene reasons, you may not bring food and drinks with you.
Other services and entertainment
Entertainment in the park is by no means only contemplative:
- In addition to the flora and fauna, the zoo has plenty of areas to catch your breath, refresh yourself and feed the kids. The menu is designed with the fact that most of the audience is children. The cafe can be found in any part of the zoo.
- For a little distraction, running and jumping, there are playgrounds for children, including a playpen for the little ones, a roller rink and a driving range.
- A sightseeing train runs through the park. You can go around the territory, and after the inspection to go to your chosen places.
- By appointment, the staff is engaged in the organization of children’s parties.
- At the exit visitors pass through the store. Those who wish can buy nice little things to remember about Istanbul Zoo. On the shelves there are soft and wooden copies of the inhabitants, books about animals, educational themed games for kids, clothes for teenagers.
Please note. Wheelchairs can be found at the entrance to the park area. If one is not available, zoo staff will come to the rescue.
The zoo is open to visitors 7 days a week without weekends. From 10 am visitors begin to fill the park alleys, cafes and playrooms. The last guest is seen off at 17.00. Cash registers close an hour earlier: at 4 p.m.
During the hot hours the animals and birds try to hide in the shade or go indoors, so it will be more interesting to ride in the cooler hours. Animals can be watched in motion, birds are more active singing, and children are less cranky.
For up-to-date information on park events and changes in hours of operation, visit the official website.
How to get to Faruk Yalcin Zoo?
The address of the park is Tuzla Caddesi #15, Bayramoglu – Darica – Gebze.
Faruk Yalcin Zoo is easy to get to by public transport. There are several options for getting to Faruk Yalcin Zoo:
Shuttles. The city administration has taken care of transportation for visitors. Shuttles in the direction of “Faruk Yalçın Hayvanat Bahçesi ve Botanik Parkı” run from the Marmaray Osmangazi line stop. From the Söğütlüçeşme Metrobus stop in Kadıköy, buses also run to the park on a stable schedule.
Marmaray. It takes about 15 minutes by train on the Halkalı-Gebze line. This is the fastest way to get to Gebze by public transport. From the Osmangazi stop you can take the 501 bus or take a local cab.
You can also take a cab or rent a car to the zoo. It is much easier and faster. The minus of personal transportation is the numerous traffic jams in Istanbul. A large part of the locals use public transport, which is sometimes faster than the car. Tourists coming to Istanbul for the first time will have to choose – to learn the routes of buses and subway or rely on the professionalism of the cab driver.