Menorca zoo is not like other zoos. It was set up as a family business to be a sanctuary for animals in need. The zoo takes in abandoned animals, pets that families get rid of, animals which have been used for testing, animals from rescue centers across Europe and animals rescued from illegal trafficking or mistreatment in circuses. The zoo aims to give these animals a second chance of life.
All of the animals in Menorca zoo cannot be released into the wild so the zoo aims to provide a decent life for them, looking after them, loving them and meeting their needs.
It is not a large zoo or a zoo where you will see large animals and due to the nature of the zoo, some of the animals you would be unlikely to see in other zoos.
On our visit we were greeted by a brilliant blue parrot, who was sat on his perch outside the cafe. The cafe is outside the entrance to the zoo and open to visitors without tickets.
Next door to the cafe there is a small museum of what I can only describe as old things (think old pots, traps, stones, weapons and even a lawnmower and a zed bed!) so even if you don’t visit the zoo you can have a quick look in the museum, say hi to the parrot and have a drink in the cafe while the kids play on the trampoline and play park in the cafe garden.
We did decide to visit the zoo. It is not unreasonably priced when you compare it to similar sized attractions such as the islands water parks. The money goes towards running the zoo.
The zoo has walk through enclosures where you can see some of the animals close up, such as the lemurs and the rabbits and guinea pigs.
There is a goat enclosure where you can feed the obviously well cared for goats and a birds of prey enclosure where you can pay for a photo with an owl. The birds of prey do a flight show on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.
The small aquarium houses about 5 fish tanks with similar fish to those you would see in the sea around the island.
There are cows, sheep, pigs and horses, monkeys and alligators. The most bizarre I found was the snakes, which were roaming free round a tree where small children were loving picking them up and moving them. They did seem very tame and this activity was closely supervised by a zoo worker.
There were the biggest ostriches I have ever seen, wallabies and prairie dogs. There are pheasants, a white peacock and porcupines.
There are crab eating macaque who were rescued from a laboratory playing in their enclosure and turtles playing in a waterfall in theirs.
I’m sure I have missed some animals out! It is a small zoo with a lot of different animals to look at and learn about, even though it doesn’t house the traditional larger zoo animals.
The zoo also teaches a little about the islands history with displays of rocks through the ages and a reconstructed lifesize model of a burial tomb from many years ago.
There was a large zoo themed splash zone which was very popular with the younger visitors and also play areas.
The enclosures didn’t seem to be particularly big for some of the larger animals such as the cows and horses but it looked like they were taken elsewhere to exercise and mostly sheltered away from the sun during the hottest part of the day in their enclosures.
There were opportunities to touch and feed animals but not many places you could wash hands near the animals. If visiting it may be an idea to take your own hand sanitiser.
The zoo isn’t big. It is possible to visit within an hour, you could stretch out your visit by taking more time to look at the animals, taking swimming costumes for the splash zone and eating in the cafe. If you dont fancy the cafe there is also a picnic area where you can eat your own food at the tables and even relax in a hammock!
There is a small souvenir shop by the entrance, oposite the cafe.
Visiting Menorca zoo with an autistic child?
If your child finds animals calming or interesting then they will like it here.
The zoo wasn’t particularly busy when we visited, it was easy to see the animals without the enclosures being crowded.
The splash zone was the busiest area of the zoo.
There are paths marked with ropes through some of the animal enclosures. You are meant to stick to the paths but it is very easy to slip under or between the ropes to places you shouldn’t be.
The museum contains breakable and potentially dangerous items that are easy to reach and touch. Close supervision is necessary.
There is a car park right outside.
During July and August the zoo is open every day 10am to 8pm. In June and September it shuts at 7pm and in May and October it shuts at 6pm. During April the zoo is closed on Mondays except public holidays and is open on other days 10am until 6pm. From 1st November until 15th March the zoo is closed to the public.
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