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Tobe Zoological Park, Ehime Prefecture
Tobe Zoological Park is one of the best and largest zoos in western Japan which keeps more than 1,000 living creatures of about 180 kinds in its vast ground of 110,000 ㎡. It is classified into 10 zones according to habitats and taxonomy, and if you follow the tour route, you can have a round-the-world trip of animals. There are many unique and rare animals, such as a polar bear who was reared through bottle nursing, which is the first example in Japan, a white tiger which is rare worldwide, the family of elephants, and so on. Immense effort has been put on how to create a natural environment for animals, and here it is known as "panoramic exhibit" to keep animals without a cage. You can feel quite real. Also, you can feed most of the animals, and they have a place that you can pet or play with the animals and many kinds of events and activities.
- 240 Kamihara-machi, Tobe-cho, Iyo-gun, Ehime
- Contact No.
- 5-min walk from "Tobe Dobutsuen-mae" bus stop, 35-min ride on Iyo Railway Bus bound for Ehime-kodomonoshiro via Tobe Dobutsuen-mae, from Matsuyama-shi Station on Iyo Railway
- Opening Hours / Holidays
Closed: Mondays, Dec 29-Jan 1
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 120 minutes
- Admission fee
- Adults 460 yen, Children 100 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
So Many Kinds of Animals Kept in 10 Zones
The authorities here try to keep animals in as little fenced spaces or cage as possible, and the animals live in as much as a natural environment to take advantage of the natural land features. The zones are named by habitat and taxonomy such as American Street, African Street, Snake House, Elephant Street, Monkey Town, etc. If you follow the tour route, you can have an around-the-animal-world trip. Savannah Observation Center is for you to feel like you are in the middle of Savannah. It is worth seeing.
Polar Bear, "Peace," Idol in the Zoo
Peace, the polar bear who is the first in Japan to be reared through bottle nursing is the most popular animal in the zoo like an idol. He is absolutely white and cute like a stuffed animal. A bottle-nursed animal is rare even worldwide.
Feeding and Activities
This zoo features an easy-to-feed system. The animal food vending machines that have appropriate food for each animal are installed nearby. You can communicate with them by feeding. "Little World" where small animals like rabbits are kept in has the "Friendship Circle" where you can pet them. You can fully this place even if you visit everyday.
Only Here! Watch the African Elephant Family
This zoo has one family of African elephants, which is rare and valuable for a zoo. You can see the mother elephant and her daughters always together as a warm and loving animal family.
You can go underneath the penguin pool and watch penguins swimming from underneath. They look as if they are flying. You have to crouch your back, but it is a must to see them flying.