New Artis Zoo plan features big "natural" enclosures, fewer big animals

Artis Zoo is getting rid of its small animal habitats in favor of larger, lifelike residence areas as a part of its ongoing reconstruction. To create the needed space, the zoo will decrease the number of species on site from 1,600 to 900, and end any future plans to acquire bears, hippopotami and some big cats, Artis announced on Monday.

“We have 14 acres, which is limited. But we want to remain in the city. City children see almost no animals anymore,” Artis head Haig Balian said. “We want to show [them] how we are a part of nature."

The Artis director mentioned that he is committed to a full-fledge city zoo, where one can learn more about the existence of species in a more realistic environment.

As a part of reorganization, historical buildings of the zoo are also being renovated and converted. Among them are the micro-organism  museum Micropia and the restaurant De Plantage. Renovation will also concern the aviary, where fencing and glass walls will be more limited.