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Zoo Labyrinth Boekelo

Tuesday, 26th July, 2005


On our first outing during the summer holidays we decided to go to a nice park in Boekelo where there was also a little zoo.

The day we went the weather was not the brightest and was threatening a shower, but this turned out to be to our advantage as the park was not too busy. After we paid for our entrance tickets we decided to go to the maze part first, have lunch and then visit the animal area. Walking into the park we noticed how beautiful everything was.

The first maze we went through was the "Intuition Labyrinth" where you simply had to guess which route was the correct route. Joop and Julian went one way and Celia went the other. Celia only made one wrong turning but we reached the centre about the same time!

Next, we climbed up a very rocky path and at the top we were able to see a view of the maze we just went through. It looked so much smaller from up there!


A man showed us how one could step on the middle stone and stick out your arm which would stop the fountain, so Julian was able to stand underneath the fountain, but he could also have walked all around to get underneath.

There were various paths we went through. The Feel path for instance had lots of plants with various textures for you to feel and the Scent path had lots of plants with nice or strange smells.

Temple of smells

Here there was a barrel with various tubes where different smells came out and you had to try and guess what the scents were, which were mainly various herbs and spices.

Balance brook

Here was a "dare" to challenge people to jump over a brook. You could also go over a plastic raft by pulling yourself along by a rope. Another option was to climb up some rocks and go over a bridge. It said at the beginning you had to trust yourself or another with this route. Celia thought the bridge was fairly easy, but didn't realise that at the end she had to go through a dark sort of cave... so she had to turn all the way back! Fortunately there was a fourth option (for wheelchairs!) and that was to go a longer route around.

Roses Labyrinth

This was a very beautiful garden with lots of gorgeous roses.

Joop and Julian are doing some pretty good posing here near this beautiful fountain, don't you think?

Kabel Labyrinth.

This was great fun! You had to choose a rope and follow the route through the Labyrinth. If you had the right rope, then you eventually got to the middle. It led us to frequently retrace our steps, so it seemed a bit as if we were going in circles but we made it eventually!

At the end there was a strange kind of object which Joop thought was a fountain... but no water came out (luckily for Joop!)

At this point it looked as if it was about to rain so it seemed the right time to go in for some lunch. The restaurant was pleasant and relaxed. You could look on to some of the animals outside whilst eating lunch. Here is Julian enjoying his plate of sate chicken and chips!

After lunch we went to the other half of the park. On the map of the park it was marked with a sticker because the animals hadn't been there long.

Steam train

Near the restaurant was also a steam train station which runs in the summer. This pillar marks the spot!

In this part you could also do a quest. We got a form from the central desk and with this form you had to follow a certain route through the animal section. At certain points there were questions about animals. Below you can find a few animals we came across and some facts we learned about other animals.

Animal fact 1: The sperm whale has the fittest heart of all animals.

Animal fact 2: The highjump record is held by the flea, 25 centimetre. That doesn't seem high, but it is actually 200 times his own length!

Animal fact 3: The animal that jumps the furthest of all the animals in the world is the kangeroo. In one jump he can reach a distance of around 12 metres. Also the flea, the jumpfrog and the grasshopper have a jumping record in their name.

Animal fact 4: The first prize for keeping its balance goes to the flamingo. It is no problem for him to stand on one leg for an hour.


Here and there we noticed some art displayed. One of the most peculiar pieces of art was this person in a see-through box. It was of course not a real person!

The last and undoubtedly the best part of the Zoo Labyrinth was the bird of prey demonstration. This was held in a separate new section and it was run by two people, Martin Bank and Judith van Bekkum. Because we came a bit early for the 2 o'clock demonstration we could have a look at the birds and equipment up close.
Martin saw that we were very interested in the birds and pictures that were on display. He asked if he could take a picture of us whilst we were standing in the middle of all the birds they had taken that day. We were very pleased that he wanted to do that and the picture turned out great as you can see below:

The demonstration was great! They told lots of things about the various birds they had and really involved the public in the demonstration. Some kids were asked to have a bird of prey on their arm (of course with a special glove!).

Julian wanted to try it out for himself and so Judith put one of the birds on his arm:

One owl (a church owl) was flying over the crowd and almost touching them! It came very close to us and when it landed on a pole near us Celia took this beautiful picture:

At the end of the show Martin demonstrated how a falcon would dive from a high altitude with a speed of 300 km/h(!) to catch it's prey. A mock prey filled with some dead meat was swung around on a long piece of rope. As soon as the falcon spotted the prey it would dive down and grab it. This was a very good demonstration and you could see everything up close!

After this great demonstration we went home feeling good, although our feet could do with a rest!


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