When you visit Yogyakarta you can visit a zoo that called Gembira Loka. It is located at the eastern side of Kusumanegara Street, not far away from down town. 'Gembira' means happy and 'Loka' is place. This is the only zoo in the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Although effective as a zoo, Gembira Loka still classified as a museum. When viewed from the side of the history of its emergence, it is the second oldest museum in Yogyakarta after the Museum Sonobudoyo.
Some facts about the Zoo from gembiralokazoo.com
“The initial idea of the construction of the Botanical Gardens and Zoo Gembira Loka comes from the desire of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII in 1933 for a place of entertainment, which later called Garden of King. The idea is realized by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX with the help of Ir. Karsten, a Dutch architect. Ir. Karsten then choose a location west of the river Winongo, because it is considered as the most ideal place for the construction of the Garden of King. However, due to the impact of World War II and the occupation by Japan, the construction of Garden of King was stalled.
At the time of the process of moving the state capital of Yogyakarta, return to Jakarta in 1949 after the completion of World War II, again sparked an idea to provide a memento to the people of Yogyakarta in the form of a place of entertainment from the central government, spearheaded by Januismadi and Hadi, SH. The idea gets a warm welcome from the people of Yogyakarta, but its realization is still not felt by community. So in 1953, with the establishment of the Gembira Loka Foundation Yogyakarta (based on notarial act of RM. Wiranto No. 11 dated 10 September 1953) which is chaired by the Sri Paduka KGPAA Paku Alam VIII, the development of delayed King’s Garden finally been realized.
A few years later, in 1959, KGPAA Paku Alam VIII appointed Tirtowinoto to continue the development of Gembira Loka. Tirtowinoto is chosen because he was perceived to have a love for nature and interest in the development of the Gembira Loka. Apparently Tirtowinoto gave no small contribution, both in terms of ideas and material, proved capable of bringing fast progress for Gembira Loka. Peak in 1978, when the collection of animals that have more complete, so that visitors of Gembira Loka can reach to 1.5 million people.”
Here are some images of what to see inside Gembira Loka:
White-lipped Tree Viper
Javan Spitting Cobra
Bengal Monitor Lizard
Red Eye Crocodile Skink
Deer and Camel
How to get there:
From Malioboro Street, look for Trans Jogja bus station and go with the bus route 1B. This route will stop in the station nearby Gembiraloka Zoo. The cost of Trans Jogja bus is IDR 3,000.
The Zoo opens daily from 7.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m local time. Entry ticket for weekdays is IDR 12,000 and for weekend/public holidays is IDR 15,000.
Some requests if you will go or if you're inside a zoo:
– Don't make any additional action that will further stress already deprived animals. Don't feed them with any extra food you brought.
– If you come with kids, you can do a lot if you tell them the difference between a real environments and a ZOO.