One day in 1993, all of the animals in a zoo which was near the Kochi castle moved to another place. It was like a big caravan. The people’s place of rest and relaxation was really loved. Everyone watched over that event.
A lot of families are spending a good time in Wanpa-ku Kochi. A father is watching his daughter not to slip. They join their hands. Some old couples are dating. They are also hand in hand. We have such a lovely place in Kochi city 6-chome, Sanbashi. Every weekend lots of people come here and have a great holiday. We can hear birds singing, see lions taking nap and monkeys walking around. Only here, we can forget our complains in daily life.
Animal Land in Wanpa-ku Kochi has a really homey atmosphere for a zoo. It is not big and also the number of animals is not so many like the other zoo in Kochi, but we can spend easygoing and relax time there. One of the reasons of it, a lot of kinds of animals have good relationships. Of course we can’t see that animals are talking each other but if you go to the Fureai-Hiroba, you can touch rabbits, turtles and goats so on. They are sniffing and running after each other. It is a very heartwarming scene.
Wanpa-ku Kochi has some interesting features. First, it is completely free for everyone to enter there. The reason why is that Wanpa-Ku Kochi is supported by the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation; Kochi Urban Development Corporation. Their policy is that giving greenery and making Kochi city prosper. So they can run the Wanpa-ku Kochi as one of their projects so they are needed by citizens in Kochi city.
Wanpa-ku Kochi has a lot of facilities like animal gallery, play land, water fall, and restaurant and event hall. We can also enjoy some attractions which need to pay coins. They have some events every season. For example, snow festival in January, sketching contest in May. They try to share amazing time with visitors by holding such events.
Also, they publish their original pamphlet which has a lot of information. We can get a lot of interesting information from them. Some of the staffs write articles which are really close to the animals. It’s like a diary.
Does Wanpa-ku Kochi just give fun to citizens? Can they have any benefit from the free zoo and park? Wanpa-Ku Kochi is one of Kochi city hall’s educational facilities. So they can run it for free. Every zoo has four main goals. Conservation of nature, research of ecosystem, education and recreation.
Takashi Watabe is the editor of the zoo part in Wanpa-ku Kochi. He graduated from a veterinary college and came to Kochi to be a staff of a zoo. Wanpa-ku Kochi has a lot of visitors but almost of them are families. In fact, he wants more teenagers to visit Wanpa-ku Kochi because its educational aim to teach students something.
“The most important thing about the zoo is keeping the local animals in Kochi and teaching citizens animal history,” he said.
At first, they didn’t have any concept as a facility because they just moved from nearby the Kochi castle. However, they have such special feature now. Especially salamanders, flying squirrels, Japanese serows and dormouse’s. Every year they have their children. Some came to Wanpa-ku Kochi because of destruction of forests which take habitat away from them. Also, people happen to find child animals when they tear down an old house. They live in the attic and the parent can run away but the children are left then they are protected by the zoo.
The baby animals need milk at night so the staff takes care of them at home.
Wanpa-ku Kochi has some troubles. It is the difficulties to grow wild animals up in their facility.
“The Japanese dormouses,” he gave as an example, “are in the pamphlet but they are not a good condition to appear in front of the visitors.” They don’t have enough facility to tell them the real animal situation in Kochi. So Wanpa-ku Kochi is planning to build a facility to show local animals in Kochi.
They are getting greater facility in Kochi city by overcoming the problems. As you look around the inside of Wanpa-Ku Kochi, there are full of smiling faces. It is made by the staff’s efforts. They have the incredible possibility to educate young people so don’t let’s this chance go to waste.