I’M not really a fan of zoos. Seeing animals caged makes me feel rather guilty.
So I was a little apprehensive when I arrived at Bioparc, particularly having learnt that it was once one of the worst in Europe.
The first roars that greeted me were from a pack of wild school children, who had been released from their own captivity of the classroom for a school trip.
I feared it was going to be an afternoon of screaming kids, but once I had passed through the barriers, I felt like I was stepping out of a magic wardrobe.
There wasn’t the snow, ice and cats of Narnia, but the leafiness and greenery certainly resembled a jungle.
In the background, the melodies of chirping birds are accompanied by the percussive sounds of gushing streams and waterfalls.
You can’t help but quickly get carried away by the incredible vibes of the park whose animals appear to have adopted – albeit unknown to them – the sleepy Spanish setting.
Gorillas, chimpanzees and other species of monkey perched and swung from trees around roofless, open enclosures and had free access to waterfalls and the river.
I smirked at a tiger that had replaced any trace of his Indian identity by having a siesta.
In the bird sanctuary, birds roamed around freely and had one-on-one contact with their visitors and the park is not short of variety, accommodating animals from five different continents – including armadillos, otters, raccoons, hippos, zopilotes or kookaburras.
Bioparc really has a different feel to your average zoo. The setting that has been achieved is truly remarkable, ultimately allowing visitors to appreciate animals in an authentic setting while discovering nature at its very best.