Nyíregyháza Zoo in NE Hungary, has been named Europe's best zoo in the category between 250 and 500 thousand visitors for the third time, according to an independent zoo expert.
The prize was handed over at a ceremony in the Nyíregyháza Zoo where expert Anthony Sheridan said that 126 zoos in 29 countries had been assessed on the basis of around 40 criteria: in category C, i.e. under half a million visitors, Nyíregyháza Zoo won the first prize out of 45 zoos, repeating its success of 2015 and 2018.
“The survey reflects the situation before 2020, as the coronavirus epidemic in the last two years made it much more difficult for zoos to operate and assess their performance," he added. He stressed that the Nyíregyháza Zoo has been steadily developing in recent years and has become the fastest growing zoo among city-owned zoos in Europe.
In the evaluation system, zoos are assessed on the basis of visitor numbers, species conservation, quality of zoo education, profitability and organisational performance, among other key criteria. Criteria examined include species range, husbandry, conservation, visitor experience, marketing, investment or staff numbers.
“It is noteworthy that this zoo has more animals and exhibits more animals than, for example, the zoos in London, Stuttgart or Zurich," he said, noting that a key factor in the score is if the zoo's botanical section is "in good shape" alongside its zoo keeping section.
The Nyíregyháza Zoo, which is twenty-five years old this year, has a "very strong" zoo collection, and the election of the park's expert as president is a mark of the professional work carried out here, he added. The animal population is constantly expanding, with the birth of a new baby anteater, an Indian rhinoceros and an African elephant, for example, both expected in Nyíregyháza.
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