I have mentioned the Olmense Zoo a couple of times in the past but in the years since we last visited, the ownership, the name and the purpose have all changed. It’s still at the same location, though.
Back in 2017, the zoo was found to be in violation of several animal welfare rules. They were unable to sufficiently rectify these and the zoo lost it’s licence in 2017. In 2019 it reopened as Pakawi Park, now specialising on big cats and with more of a focus on conservation and education. Reflecting that specialisation is the fact that the park is named after Paka and Awi, a pair of Siberian tigers.
We visited the Park shortly after it reopened in 2019 and, last week, we went for another look. The improvements are still ongoing and looking impressive. The enclosures have been reorganised to provide more space for the animals and further renovations are clearly in progress, most notably is that a new monkey house is on the way. Overall, the transition from a traditional zoo to a more modern experience does appear to be working well.
This being Belgium, the weather wasn’t great, but we did have an enjoyable day out and will certainly be back. If only to see if the persistent peacock finally managed to get into the restaurant.