The garden dreamed up to stand among the enchanting trees of the Big Forest of Debrecen has duly entertained its visitors for the past 50 years. The enterprise called Nagyerdei Kultúrpark [Culture Park of the Big Forest] celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation this year.
The zoo presents 1500 specimens of as many as 165 species from five continents on 17 hectares of land. Today, visitors can still see side by side the old animal cages and menageries built in the past few decades and the new “natural habitat” exhibits of a dynamically transforming wildlife park. The white-handed gibbons are unique even among the special treasures. Jerry and Lenochka were the first in Hungary to start a family that has been steadily growing ever since. The daughter of hippopotamuses Linda and Sigfried, became an alpha female in Disneyland near San Diego, Ca. The black-head spider-monkeys, the two-toed sloths, and the reticulated giraffes are the all-time favorites of visitors. As regards the birds, this is the only location in the whole of Hungary where you can see saddle-billed storks, Australian magpies, and golden eagles.
With its 15 individual rides and attractions (including a house of mirrors, a dodgem car rink, a Ferris wheel, a gyermekvasút [verbatim: children’s railroad], etc.), this is the largest permanent amusement park in the Tiszántúl [Trans-Tibiscan] region. The rocking-horse carousel crafted at the end of the 1800s is a historical relic of the trade, the kids’ railroad takes you all the way down to the mini fallow deer reservation, and the house of mirrors features the salient characters of Hungarian folk tales. The merger of Állat- és Növénykert [Zoological and Botanical Garden] and Vidámpark [Amusement Park] has resulted in a joint area of 17 hectares altogether, which can safely guarantee the availability of further tracts of land for developments in the zoo.