Kumamoto Zoo Fully Reopens after Quakes in 2016

Society Culture

Kumamoto, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens fully reopened on Saturday, after it was severely damaged by massive earthquakes in April 2016.

The zoo, located in Higashi Ward of the capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, resumed in February 2017 animal exhibition in a limited scale only on weekends and holidays while continuing recovery work for the full reopening.

Now visitors can view 131 species, including a lion, a Siberian tiger and three other fierce animals that had been relocated to zoos in neighboring prefectures until October, as well as newly added two golden snub-nosed monkeys, the species that is not reared elsewhere in Japan.

"I hope the zoo will be crowded as it was before the disaster," Shinichi Okazaki, director of the zoo, said in the reopening ceremony. "We installed reinforced glasses at carnivorous animals' cages so visitors can enjoy viewing them closely."

Masatoshi Fukuda, a 43-year-old resident in the ward, said he had been determined to come to the zoo when it fully reopened. He and his 5-year-old first son, Hiroto, were waiting for the gate to open at the front of the queue for an hour.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press