It is one of the few zoos in the Balkans, the Skopje Zoo. The zoo in the northern Macedonian capital is home to nearly 500 animals, just a short walk from the city centre. As unique as the zoo is, I was appalled by the unkempt condition of the facility. First opened in 1926, Skopje Zoo is mostly uncovered, with the animals’ public stalls and enclosures outdoors. Regarding the health condition of the animals I can personally, by lack of knowledge in relation to a species-fair attitude in zoos, have nothing says. But I have already seen much happier animals, to put it that way.
Why Skopje Zoo
First of all, you probably ask yourself why (in the second decade of the 21st century) you still visit a zoo at all. The poor caged animals! This is of course correct, but on the one hand, all museums in Skopje are closed on Mondays except for the Mother Teresa Memorial House, and on the other hand, zoos partly serve for the preservation of species (more about this here). If you visit a zoo, you support it with the entrance fee. If a zoo does not receive any income, it cannot invest. So far my milkmaid calculation. According to the website of the Skopje zoo, the entrance fee for an adult amounts to 100 Denar, with my attendance at the beginning of February 2020 however only 80 Denar (which corresponds to approximately 1,29 euros). How much of that is left for “investment” after all the staff, electricity, etc. are paid for is questionable.
Among the exhibited animals in the zoo of Skopje are elephants, rabbits, a hippopotamus, pygmy goats, giraffes, European as well as American bison, horses and ponies, wildebeests, monkeys (baboon, Barbary macaque, patas,..), brown bears, wolves, leopards, lions, Siberian tigers, as well as Nile crocodile, Burmese python snakes, Australian bearded dragon, fish as well as spiders (Mexican tarantula).
my visit to Skopje Zoo in the month of February
Without further describing my personal impressions of the visit to the Skopje Zoo, in winter/ February, I let the following images and video speak for themselves. So, make your own impression and decide if you want to visit the zoo (or not). Animals which just stand there lethargically and do not move for minutes, as well as have no toys, entertainment or other conspecifics with them, I personally do not necessarily need to see that again.
Address: Boulevard Ilinden, Skopje 1000, North Macedonia.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 am – 6 pm
Entrance fee: 100 Denar for adults (~ 1,60 Euro)