We think that Dublin Zoo is great.
And obviously a lot of other people agree, since they had over 1 million visitors last year.
We could go on for ages about how cute the red pandas, meercats and baby elephants are but if that's not enough, you also support a really good organisation by going.
If you haven’t been to the a zoo in the last while, here's are a few reasons why it's time for a visit...
1. Dublin Zoo is a registered charity
Any money raised is used to pay staff, to expand and to fund conservation projects.
2. The staff try to sedate the animals as little as possible
Animals are trained using positive reinforcement to get them used to health checks. The elephants have no problem presenting their feet for their required inspections, and chimpanzees let the vet use a stethoscope without moving.
When checking if, for example, an elephant is pregnant, instead of taking blood, they’ll put a bit of glitter in their feed. Then they'll know which droppings are theirs and they can check that instead.
Additionally, if animals are being transported abroad (most of the time as part of a breeding programme), they will get them used to the travel crate in advance so that they don’t get anxious.
3. The zoo focuses on animal enrichment
Keepers hang food up high for the elephants, giraffes, orangutans so that they have to work harder to get it, as they would in the wild, to keep them stimulated. They also give them play items and novel items to investigate.
4. There are no cages
Most animals have outdoor areas to explore, as well as indoor areas for sleep and warmth. Animals are kept in using water or glass and given natural cover, like trees and bushes when they want privacy.
5. It is constantly expanding and moving animals into larger, more natural habitats
The zoo has worked on an expansion project every year for the last 20 years. These have included the huge African Plains area, the new sea lion cove habitat, the Kaziranga forest trail for the elephants, the orangutan forest, and the gorilla rainforest, which has the most plant diversity of any gorilla zoo habitat in the world.
It is currently putting together a dinosaur exhibit near the reptile house.
6. It supports Irish wildlife conservation
Part of the money raised through ticket sales to the zoo goes to conserve Irish wildlife, like grouse, terns, bats, moths and newts.
7. It supports conservation in the rest of the world
Dublin Zoo also gives money to local conservation groups in Africa and Asia to support endangered animals. The four projects it currently supports makes a significant contribution to saving apes while taking into account the considerations of local people.
8. It contributes to international knowledge about animals
Dublin Zoo has made ground-breaking discoveries about flamingos and wolves.
9. The keepers hold daily talks about the animals
Increasing public knowledge and giving us something cool to talk about.