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Allo Zoo!

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This month, I want to tell you about il Giardino Zoologico di Roma, also known as il Bioparco di Roma or semplicemente (simply) lo Zoo! The zoo is located on the grounds of the Villa Borghese and is a popular place for both Romans and visitors. Un giorno (one day) during a weekend trip to Rome, Mamma and Nonna hanno deciso (decided) to check it out. Since dogs are not allowed in the zoo—unlike the time I visited Pompeii—I had to sit with Nonno in the park.

When the zoo first opened in the early 1900s, it was a place for people to relax and enjoy seeing animals from all over the world. But now, visitors can also learn about the animals and how to best take care of them, as well as how to help endangered species.

ZebraThere is a treno (train) that takes visitors around, as well as a lake and a children’s area. There are special events year-round, including theatrical shows, exhibitions, guided tours, classes, and feeding the animals. The zoo has grown over the years and is now one of the largest in the world, as well as one of Europe’s oldest zoos.

When Mamma and Nonna returned, we all went to cena (dinner), and they told Nonno and I about the zoo and its animals, showing us le fotografie (the photographs). They walked through much of the zoo and saw many of the nearly 200 mammiferi (mammals), uccelli (birds), rettili (reptiles) and anfibi (amphibians) from five continents living in the park.

Che cosa avete visit? (What did you see?)” I asked curiously.

cercocebo“Well,” Mamma replied, “we saw an orso bruno (brown bear), a zebra di grevy with her bambino (baby), some struzzi (ostriches), lots of testuggine (tortoises), leoni e tigri, and a beautiful leopardo del caucauso! The orango even came close and smiled at us!”

Nonna told us about the vibrant colors of some of the birds, especially the ararauna, and how she and Mamma spent at least 20 minutes watching and laughing as some cercocebo dal collare (white-collared Old World monkeys) played together in their enclosure.

Then they told me they were glad I wasn’t with them because they were a little nervous when they went through the area where the licaone (African wild dog) lived.

“We didn’t spend much time in the snake house, either,” Nonna added, “because you know Mamma doesn’t like them.”

“I wish I could have seen them,” I said, sadly. “Non te preoccupare Sara (Don’t worry, Sara),” Mamma said. “After dinner, we’ll take a nice walk through Roma and stop to get some gelato for you!”

Evviva!” I barked. “Ice cream per me!”

Next month, I’ll tell you all about my trip to Pompeii.

Greg Mathias
Author: Greg Mathias

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