If you drive through Europe, you will see numerous automobiles with a moose-inside-a-rectangle sticker on the rear window. This means they have been to Sweden. Everyone is convinced that these creatures exist here, and all the tourist traps sell everything you can think of with a moose theme. I moved here in December of 2005 and had yet to see even one moose. I have become convinced that this is a national joke played on tourists and that only one moose actually exists. I figure there has to be the one or they couldn’t pull it off. They probably just move the one moose (imported from Canada) around the country for various moose sightings.
Lars has taken me on numerous drives where he promises me I shall indeed see the moose this time… never happens. Finally, this past weekend he made good on his promise and found a moose… 7 of them in fact… inside the zoo. HA! This place is called the Skånes Djurpark and is filled with all animals Norsk, which is the overall term used to indicate Scandinavian here.
This Djurpark (animal park) is located in the center of Skåne (South Sweden) just outside a small town called Höör. One word of warning I will give here is to stop and use the restroom if you need to pee because the line to get in here is sometimes long and there are NO bathrooms until you get inside. The line moves pretty durn fast, but when you’re dancing around trying not to pinka your byxors, it can seem like forever. heh. I’m just sayin’…
One of the main things I really liked about this place is that there are grills and picnic tables periodically along the 3 km pathway, with a huge picnic area towards the end which sits on a beautiful lake. Stunning view, that. Numerous families where taking advantage of these and making a day of it. It was a beautiful 14c Saturday, perfect for this kind of thing. So yes, you can bring in a wagon full of charcoals and food. They encourage you to do just that.
If you do not wish to cook your own food, there are various small kiosks serving hot dogs & popcorn, and a larger restaurant typa place about mid-way by the bears where you can get hot dogs (korv), hamburgers, Swedish Meatballs (Kottbueller- sp?), and the like. Prices are reasonable at about 60sek ($7-8us) for a Burger, fries (Pomme Frites), and a coke. I’ll warn you again here on something you might not be aware… the main burger stuff here is a combo of ground beef and ground pork. So if you have aversions to pork, be forewarned. Personally, I love it this way. At this eatery are numerous tables which overlook that big ol’ sleeping bear down in his enclosure. I’m told that they expect some baby bears to be on display very soon.
To get in here it runs 130sek for adults, kids 16 and under are free. This park is open year round from 9:00 until either 15:00 or 17:00, depending on the time of year. Check their website before you go. You are allowed to stay inside, though, for up to 2 hours past the closing of the admittance gate.
FYI to handicapped folks: Due to veterinary reasons, no dogs or other pets may enter the park. ~ http://www.skanesdjurpark.se/
The path is completely wheelchair and stroller friendly though. It is a very well maintained and smooth path, with a few hilly areas. So bring someone strong or an electric wheelchair. heh. If need be, they do have a few stroller and carts for rent at the entrance for 30sek.
Now to the animals! Weeeeeeeee!
As I said, this place is dedicated to Norsk animals. You will find no cute little monkeys here. What you will find are beautiful white Snowy owls, huge Hawks, and various other flogle… both in large netted areas and flying free.
There is a huge children’s petting zoo area towards the beginning of the park with the requisite goats, sheep, bunnies, and pigs. This one is actually cleaner than most petting zoos I’ve seen. I was quite impressed. How the hell ya keep a place with pigs clean, anyway? There’s something to ponder for ya… If you have young kids with you, they can ride the local ponies next to the lakeside picnic area.
As with the Skåne region in general, there are families of ducks walking around all over the place. You can touch them if you like, but be ready to run. They barely tolerate your presence. heh. And don’t ya dare pull the American I’ma Sue if ya get bit. If you are silly enough to bother the animals, then it is your own fault if anything happens. ok? Personal responsibility, folks.
There are Red Deer in abundance here, the cutest little thing called a … oh hell.. what was it again… somethinghund. It wasn’t quite a dog, and not quite anything else either. Hrmm. All I know is it was really fluffy, I’d never seen one in America, and I wanted one. Oh yes, The thing is called a Mårdhund. Very cool little beasty.
There are wolves galore here. You can go down this covered tunnel to an observation deck and see them roaming about. Very cool. Also, if you have the moolah and the inclination, for 1900sek (that’s like over $200) you can actually go into the wolf enclosure with an employee and meet them up close and personal like. I kinda wish I had sprung for that… and may still do it in the future. Hmm. Oh yeah, they have a lynx or two in there also. I have to say that this was probably my favorite exhibit.
Well, ok, the wolves were the coolest except for the Moose…s. Meese? Errr whatever… we’ll go with Älgs, ok? This huge enclosure has major gaps in the fence rails so if you can get them to come up to the fence, you can pet them. Again, use your brain here, eh? Thanks. This visit there was 2 babies in the enclosure and they were just adorable! (I still say, however, that the whole wild Swedish Moose thing is an on-going tourist spoof…)
I won’t list every last animal here, but I do want to talk a bit about the gift shop. My regular readers know what a shameless tourist I am. This gift shop is fairly nice sized with lots of fun stuff to buy, but not very much of it is marked specifically Djurpark. Why? Come on folks. I can get all that generic Sverige/Sweden everydamnwhere. When I visit a specific place, I want tourist crap marked for that specific place, aiiight? Ohj. I did manage to find some t-shirts for about 99sek, but the selection was small.
Also, there is a wicked looking Water Slide here that is only open June, July, and August. If you come during those months, do come in shorts so you can get wet. It looked like hella fun.
Overall I’m going with 4 very high stars for Skånes Djurpark. I had a wonderful time here, and those picnic areas on the lake are an added bonus for families. Had more animals been actually awake and-or present to view, I would easily have gone 5 stars… but alas there were several hiding or in their house thingies. Recommended for children of all ages, even 48 like me (look, I don’t turn 49 for 6 more days. Leave me alone.) DO take the time to stop in here even if you haven’t got any wee ones with ya. It may be your only chance to see that moose they’re always going on about here…