KAOHSIUNG (Taiwan News) — Shoushan Zoo (壽山動物園) in Gushan District, Kaohsiung, is Taiwan's second biggest zoo and has extended free entry until March.
To encourage domestic travel and promote tourism in south Taiwan, Kaohsiung City Government has collaborated with the Tourism Bureau and been offering free admission to attractions such as Shoushan and Cijin Shell Museum since October 2020.
Given the promotional scheme has been working well over the past few months, the zoo decided to extend free entry until the end of March, according to Shoushan Zoo President Chuang Hsuan-chih (莊絢智). Entrance fee is usually NT$40 (US$1.43) for adults, NT$20 for students, and free admission for disabled, preschool children, the elderly above age 65, and Gushan district citizens.
The zoo has rolled out free holiday events, such as DIY Year of the Ox red envelopes and magic performances. Balloon and bubble shows will also be presented, in addition to zoo animal lessons, scavenger hunts, and hat painting activities.
To enhance your zoo experience, take a ride on the train that goes around the zoo and introduces the zoo’s animals. The train has been operating for around four years and originally cost NT$50 (US$1.79) per person. The new promotional price is NT$30.
Zoo train at Shoushan Zoo (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Recently, Shoushan Zoo has launched a number of projects with other zoos in Taiwan, such as Hsinchu Zoo (新竹市立動物園) and Hualien Shin Kong Chao Feng Resort Ranch (新光兆豐休閒農場). To increase biodiversity, zoo animals are exchanged. For instance, chinchillas, toucans, and South American coati have been sent to Shoushan on exchanges.
At the zoo, you can find Taiwan’s famous Formosan black bears, crested porcupines, dromedary camels, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths, Chapman’s zebras, white rhinoceri, and many more.
Dromedary camel (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
The gigantic invasive green iguana can also be spotted at the zoo. Other popular amphibians include crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises. Alpacas and llamas also have enclosures, while meerkats have been added over the past two years.
Meerkat (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
The zoo's “most troublesome guests” —the Formosan rock macaques — can be seen all over the zoo and in the Shoushan area. These notorious monkeys not only steal and grab food from tourists, but also fight and hurt visitors who refuse to give them food. To prevent injuries, visitors are advised not to bring in food products but if they do and a macaque grabs their bag, then it's best to let it go.
Formosan rock macaque (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Chuang Hsuan-chih stated that Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) values the zoo a great deal and several improvement projects are in the pipeline. Additionally, Shoushan Zoo has recently become a sister zoo to Hsinchu Zoo.
Shoushan is the perfect outdoor destination for families and the elderly to spend quality time together. It opens from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Lunar New Year holiday, except for Lunar New Year’s Eve on Thursday (Feb. 11). See website for further details.
Shoushan Zoo front gate (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)