There aren’t very many recreational things to do in Karakol. One thing that is here that is nowhere else in Kyrgyzstan is a zoo. We’ve been a couple times before, but the other day we went for the first time with our son. He’s very much into animals; he loves watching Planet Earth and calling out animals as they appear on screen. We entered the zoo and Ryan first saw the bird pen. It had ducks, geese, peacocks, chickens, and a very interesting regal-looking turkey. Ryan excitedly yelled, “Birds! Birds!” They walked by unfazed by the screams of the little one.
Right next to the bird pen is the Turkmen Lynx cage. Yeah, the cats are right next to the birds. They paced back and forth, looking (and in my mind, salivating) as the birds pecked and walked by, oblivious to the cats’ presence. Ryan enthusiastically yelled, “Cat! Niana!” (our friend’s cat is named Diana and therefore all cats must be named Diana). We saw some camels and yaks next, which Ryan called cows. He didn’t know what to call the llamas but there was a playground right next to their pen. He and his friend played while we took a little snack break.
On our way to see the bears we looked down into a pen and saw porcupines and they were huge! This was a first for me. I’ve never seen a porcupine in my life and I got to see my first one in Kyrgyzstan. Who knew? We got to see a falcon, a pair of golden eagles, and some Reeve’s pheasants. Up next were two Tien Shan white-clawed bears. One waved at us when we waved at him, but I think they slightly terrified Ryan so we moved on.
Next was the cutest little pygmy goat we had ever seen. Ryan seemed quite taken with this little goat and the little goat with him, because the goat came right up to Ryan and licked his fingers. Lucky little guy. There was another pygmy goat that was black and had curly hair. He seemed to want attention, too, but after a while of not hearing the oohs and aahs directed at him, he moved on.
Next were the foxes, which were intimated by the mass group staring at them, some owls, and guinea pigs. I think Ryan must have liked them because this was the only time I have heard him say, “I want,” or “Want one.” Seems a guinea pig might be in our future. He didn’t seem to be interested in the wolves and moved on, instead, to a little puppy that at first was scared of
him, but then bravely walked up and licked Ryan’s fingers. After the puppy disappeared Ryan turned around and saw monkeys. The last animals we saw were a couple more birds, some deer, and a griffin. We concluded by walking by the camels, wolves, yaks, and Lynxes again. The Lynxes, having been fed this time, were up in their “box” relaxing, getting ready for their afternoon snooze.
It’s a small zoo, but the perfect size for little 2-3 year old legs and for 2-3 year old attention spans. We ended the afternoon with some lunch and a much needed nap.