How giraffes sleep and what capybaras eat: Audio guides about zoo animals now available

How giraffes sleep and what capybaras eat: Audio guides about zoo animals now available
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Compact audio players contain descriptions of 80 animals, birds and reptiles that live in the zoo. Guests can rent an audio guide in the souvenir shop at the entrance to the zoo.

The Moscow Zoo has introduced audio guides with descriptions of 80 animals living there, including birds and reptiles. Guests can rent a compact player and headphones in the souvenir shop at the entrance to the zoo.

“Listening to the lectures, visitors will be able to find out why a vulture has no feathers on its head, what beavers do inside their lodge, how giraffes sleep and many other interesting facts about animals at the zoo. In addition, the audio guide helps visitors plan their own routes and choose how to see the exhibition,” said Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo.

According to Akulova, the information for the audio guides was prepared by the zoo’s employees. In order to hear the description of an animal, visitors should type in the number on the cage. For example, if a visitor types in 2, the guide will start a lecture on capybaras, also called giant guinea pigs. The lecture touches on their habits both in the wild and at the zoo, their conservation status and what the zoo does to preserve the population in captivity.

“For now the audio guides are only available in Russian, but soon information in English, German and Chinese will be added,” Svetlana Akulova said.

The operating hours of the zoo will change starting on 1 September as the days get shorter. It will be open every day from 9 am to 7 pm. The ticket offices will close an hour earlier, and the last admittance will be at 6 pm.

“In autumn, many animals begin to prepare actively for the cold weather, put on fat and change their thin summer coat for thicker and warmer fur. Some of our animals, such as brown and Himalayan bears, marmots, raccoons and raccoon dogs, will be getting ready to hibernate. They will sleep through the entire cold season. Now many rich foods are added to their diet: for example, marmots get fattier seeds and bears receive nuts, honey and fruit,” Svetlana Akulova noted.

Many animals become more active and spend more time in their open-air cages in autumn, when there is no more summer heat. For example, felines, such as the Pallas’s cat, cougar, snow leopard, Far Eastern leopard and Amur tiger, are glad when the weather is a bit colder. They feel more comfortable than in hot weather.

The Moscow Zoo continues to improve its visitor services by introducing new services and upgrading existing ones. Holders of Moscow resident social cards have been able to visit the zoo without tickets since this June. Purchasing an e-ticket also allows zoo visitors to skip the ticket queues. There is an online ticket office on the zoo’s website as well as in the mobile app that came out two years ago.