Artis is the oldest zoo in The Netherlands. It began in 1838 as a Zoological scoiety with the name Natura magistra Artis (Nature is the Teacher of Art). At first it was a garden for the rich, but slowly it was expanded. There were exhibitions of rare botanical and zoological specimens, but also there were wild animals to be seen.
At first the zoo was typical for the 19th century, with animals in rows of cages. This was even still the case when I was young and we visited Artis. This is 40 years ago. It was sad to see the big cats in these small cages, all in a row.
But in the ninetees, Artis had a chance to buy new land and expand, and to change certain areas for the animals. No longer cages, but for example a very tall cage for the jaguar who likes to climb trees, and more natural looking surroundings for the lions and the wolves and all the other animals. I am glad to see that the ideas on how to treat captive animals have changed for the better. Zoo's now play a huge part in the conservation of species and are very important.
Last week I was in Artis with three first grade groups and five colleagues. The weather was magnificent and the students worked hard on a biology assignment and something for art. We had the chance to walk around and spot some animals!
It was absolutely beautiful and we had a great day. (a perk of being a teacher!). These photographs are not ideal, since I made them with my phone. And sometimes it is hard to see the animal as there are of course bars and nets preventing anybody (people and animals) being harmed.
|He looked quite content.|
|Eyecontact with one of our nephews|
|The wolves are hard to capture on photo as they have an area with plenty of places to hide.|
|Hard to photograph the jaguar, it was fast and I could not get a good look at him.|
|No idea what this is, but it is cute.|
|This photo is a it hazy, no idea why.|