The Zoo of 26, Little Noe's Ark in Havana

By Luis_Herrera | Mar 28, 2021
Caribbean > Cuba > Havana

The Havana Zoo is the oldest zoological park in Cuba, it is an attraction for the Havana population of all ages and means for adults, the place of childhood memories and pleasant moments, it is one of the places of a must visit if you are passing through the capital city. The facility was inaugurated on October 24, 1939, popularly known as the Zoo of 26, for having its main entrance on the central Avenida 26 de La Habana in the residential area of El Nuevo Vedado.

In 1944 it was almost completely destroyed by a cyclone that caused great damage. Later and as part of the construction of Avenida 26, it was repaired and reopened on October 12, 1947. The new facility included large lakes, exhibits of cats and bears, in addition to the beautiful monument "La Familia", popularly known as '' Los Venados '' (1947) by Cuban artist Rita Longa, which over time has become one of the best-known prints of Havana and El Nuevo Vedado. Inside the zoo there are other sculptures such as "The Girls" (and the Rabbit) (1948) by the renowned sculptor, painter, potter and teacher Sergio López Mesa, and "The Boy and the Pelican" (1948) by The Jilma Madera sculpture, this remarkable Cuban sculpture is the author of the José Martí bust located at the entrance to the museum of the memorial dedicated to the National Hero of Cuba in the Plaza de la Revolución and also sculpted the Christ of Havana, which is one of the ten highest christs in the world.

"La Familia", popularly known as '' Los Venados '' (1947) by Cuban artist Rita Longa

It is a traditional type installation in which a large part of the exhibited animals remain locked up, but its premise is the long-term conservation of endangered species, through the maintenance of viable populations for a long time in captivity. as a free-living genetic reservoir. The Havana Zoo has a collection of 99 species in cages, plus the companions (ringworms, pigeons, reptiles, coast dogs, squirrels ...), which enter and leave, and some even nest.

The colony of chimpanzees was established in the 50s of the last century, with specimens from the United States, named: Chita, Toto, Maggy, Blakie, Isabel and Jimmy. The first chimpanzee born in captivity in the world was born in Cuba, …

Reproduction in captivity has results in the Zoo of 26 new offspring of more than a dozen species have been achieved, among these coyote, dwarf buffalo and peacock, the condor of the Andes, the largest bird in the world and a symbol of South American countries, and the jaguar, which lives in America and is in high danger of extinction.

The surface of the park reaches 23 hectares. The park's animal exhibition area is divided into four large spaces, so that the visitor can organize their tour, prioritizing what interests them most: felines, primates, birds and reptiles.

It has two artificial lakes, one larger than about fifteen thousand square meters and the other less than five thousand, with a reproduction of the island of Cuba inside. The central area is the popular "Island of the Hippos", a beautiful environment designed for the coexistence of these animals, with calm and shallow waters, and small islets where we can observe different species of primates and endemic birds of Cuba.

Although the main attraction of the Zoo of 26 is the animal exhibition, visitors can also enjoy cultural shows, an amusement park, photographs with animals, rental of premises for parties and guided tours of the museum classroom, among other attractive options, mainly for children.

Undoubtedly, the Zoo of 26 is one of the favorite places for Cuban families and foreign families who visit Cuba and want to enjoy hours of recreation, entertainment and getting closer to the flora and fauna in this little Noe's ark in Havana

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Written by Luis Herrera
I am Luis. I was born and raised in Nuevo Vedado in Havana, and I love my city! I want to share all the great things that my hometown has to offer and leave you with insider information you will only get from a true local and lover of Havana. The tour I am offering is for people who have limited time but want to gain a genuine feel for Havana, without missing the top attraction. Variety (never routine!) is a key part of keeping things interesting and fun. So with me, you will find my tour is fresh and flexible. As a guide, I love to learn what interests you so my tour can engage and leave you with a real feel for my city. I love meeting peo... Read more

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