The Zoopark of Nyíregyháza, Sóstó ,Hungary. One of the best zoo in Europe .A Nyíregyházi Állatpark

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The Nyíregyháza Zoo (Nyíregyházi Állatpark – Animal Park of Nyíregyháza, also known as Sóstó Zoo) is located 5 km (approx 3.3 miles) north of Nyíregyháza, Hungary in the Sóstó recreation area, which also includes the beach, the spa, the pool, the open-air museum, and the wood parks.

The zoo lies in a natural, almost untouched birch forest. In the 30-hectare area of the zoo, the visitors find themselves in continents, so that one that enters can walk along them to observe how the animals live in certain parts of the world.

Nyíregyháza Zoo was opened in 1974 under the name “Nyíregyházi Vadaspark” (Wild Park of Nyíregyháza). It was given place 5 km from Nyíregyháza in the Sóstó recreation area in a 14-hectare birch forest. It is owned and sponsored by the local government of Sóstó-Nyíregyháza, therefore the park's other name “Sóstó Zoo” is still in use.

At the time of its opening, its main purpose was to exhibit the species of Hungary and the Pannonian Basin. It has a unique exhibition system in which the giant exhibits are separated from the paths with ditches filled with water. Some European species were replaced with their close relatives, such as there are American bisons exhibited instead of those found in Europe. The greatest spectacles of that time were the European carnivores, the bears, and the timber wolves substituting their European relatives. But as usual, the number of visitors decreased due to the lack of exotic animals.

The year 1996 brought a breakthrough to the zoo. This year, the new director László Gajdos took up his duties in the park and decided to create a real zoo in Nyíregyháza. János Szánthó received the rank of deputy manager. As life was not easy those days, Szánthó personally brought up a number of smaller animals.

In this year, the redenomination of the zoo has occurred. It received a new name “Nyíregyházi Állatpark” (however, some may still call it by its older name, Vadaspark, incorrectly). László Gajdos and his team has since come up with new ideas every year. The Állatpark is the richest zoo in mammals (especially primates and pachyderms) in Hungary. The once 14 hectare area is now 32 hectares large and instead of the former couple of dozens of animals today the specimens of approximately 320 species can be seen by the visitors. It has grown out to be the biggest animal collection in the country. The zoo is member of the Hungarian Association of Zoos (MÁSZ), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
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