Day 45 (2): Zoolookologie

Tbilisi Travel Blog

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Lika and the kids watching the elephants get fed
People I met here and/or travelled with: Jack (Netherlands), Lika (Georgia)


Lika works as an elementary school teacher and every once in a while she takes her class on a field trip. Today they were going to the zoo and Jack and I were invited to join them. I'm not a fan of zoos, especially not in countries where animal wellfare is not particularly high on the political agenda. At the same time I thought it would be interesting to see how local school children experienced a day out.

Fortunately the zoo was not as bad as I feared. With an entrance fee of only 50 cents I didn't expect much, so I was pleasantly surprised to find some of the enclosures to be pretty spacious and well-kept. And there were even some signs in English here and there.

The old part of the zoo wasn't so nice though, with bears, tigers, lions and several monkeys living in tiny, cramped cages.
need I say more?
To make matters worse a new highway is being built right along the edge of the zoo park, with some of the construction works happening literally in the back yard of some of the enclosures. I don't like animals in captivity, but I pitied the tigers and bears in this zoo even more as they will soon have to endure the noise of traffic right next to their enclosures.

The children were not overly interested in the animals. There were quite a few rides scattered throughout the park and the bumper cars and mini roller coaster proved far more popular than bears and lions.

Back at Jack and Lika's apartment we had some lunch and then it was time for me to leave. Today was new country day and I was taking the overnight train to the third country of the Caucasus: Azerbaijan.
Once again I was happy to be back on the train.
on the train again!
Train travel is just so much more comfortable than bus travel, even if it takes almost twice as long (it took 17 hours to travel the 600 kilometres from Tbilisi to Baku).

An unintended fortune by leaving Tbilisi a day later: The train crossed the border in the early evening. So had I travelled on the 19th, I would technically have crossed into Azerbaijan before my visa would be valid. Not sure what would have happened then.
As I would later learn, entering Azerbaijan on the 20th wasn't entirely without visa complications either, but more on that later...


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Lika and the kids watching the ele…
Lika and the kids watching the el…
need I say more?
need I say more?
on the train again!
on the train again!
peacock in the zoo
peacock in the zoo
inquisitive ostrich
inquisitive ostrich
Some big-horned animal
Some big-horned animal
The older part of the zoo, where e…
The older part of the zoo, where …
The kids having fun in the bumper …
The kids having fun in the bumper…
the kids in the roller coaster
the kids in the 'roller coaster'
Some locals poking a wolf with a s…
Some locals poking a wolf with a …
the enclosure of an Anur Tiger wit…
the enclosure of an Anur Tiger wi…
dito for the bears
dito for the bears
so back in The Netherlands this wa…
so back in The Netherlands this w…
Tbilisi
photo by: herman_munster