The Merida Zoo is a difficult attraction to rate. In general, I don't like zoos, except those which allow the animals a large habitat that's as much as possible like their natural wild space. This zoo, located in Merida's Centennial Park, is not like that; it's an old fashioned zoo with small cages and tiny habitat areas. Most of the animals are in small pens or tiny metal cages that are, in the case of the large cats and hippos certainly, way too small for them. I was surprised to see so many big cats here; the zoo has lions (with two new small cubs), leopards, tigers, panthers, and some other small cat species, as well as a couple of hippos, and lots of varieties of deer. Two of the younger cats, a black panther and a leopard, were playing with one another, while many of the other big cats were pacing neurotically up and down in their tiny spaces, or lying listlessly on the ground in the heat. I found seeing that hard to take.
The zoo also has a snake display, a couple of crocodiles, quite a lot of turtles, monkeys, baboons, two chimps, and a fairly large aviary, with several peacocks. There is no cost to enter. In addition to a ride-on train that runs around the site, Parque del Centenario has lots of food concessions and children's rides; it was packed with local kids on the Saturday we went.
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