Faunia is a fourteen square hectares zoo and a botanical garden located in the outskirts of Madrid.
The park opened on July 10, 2001 and is organized into areas representing different ecosystems, like jungle, poles, and African forest. Faunia is a name created by the philologist and writer, Fernando Beltrán.
We visited in the Spring 2015 on a hot afternoon and were impressed by this small park which lacks the big animals of Madrid Zoo but makes up for it with the sheer volume. Faunia for one has a great Tropical rainforest building, with free-roaming monkeys and birds, simulated tropical rain storms and an awesome enclosure for manatees – the underwater tunnel gives you a great look at these majestic creatures. There is also a very extensive nocturnal house with lots of rare and unique species, a big enclosure for Antartic penguins, walkthrough enclosures for barking deer and cranes as well as kangaroos and emus, an underground path with various aquaria and terraria, a venomous creatures house, a nicely done crocodile building and more. There are pelicans, meerkats and giant tortoises, as well as komodo dragons, capuchin monkeys and sea lions. Also, a big group of cute prairie dogs roam freely through the entire zoo.
Also impressive is the dolphins show. Nothing compared to Seaword, Parc ASterix or even Zoo Marine but with animals very well treated and with some clever routines.
The less impressive part was the butterflyhouse; small, and almost no butterflies to be seen. The bird show also was not that interesting apart from the birds of prey. Also there where a poor dinosaur exhibit
We followed the advised route around the zoo which worked well in terms of getting to the shows on time but does mean that you are in the crowd especially if you arrive at opening time. Take your own food because there are very few outlets open off season and very pricey.
Although it might be a little expensive, Faunia is definitely worth the visit. As a frequent visitor of zoos all over Europe, I found myself to be more impressed by Faunia than I was with the Madrid Zoo.
By Ana Alegria
Location: Av Comunidades, 28, 28032 Madrid, Spain
Tickets: from 15,90€ (adults on line)
Opens all yearTop Rides
Free-roaming monkeys and birds, dolphins show
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