It's a bit of a trek from the city centre - in fact, it's thirty-five kilometres away - but visitors who make the journey never regret it.
The zoo and adjoining botanic gardens originally started out as a private collection of exotic animals, bought by one of Turkey's most richest men, Faruk Yalcin. Eventually, the animals outgrew his garden and he bought the grounds where the zoo now lies. In 1993 it was opened to the public. Now, there are more than three thousand animal species and four hundred plants on the site. Yalcin maintains a keen interest in the animals' welfare and conservation.
This interesting zoo and botanic garden is a mix of the usual animals you'd expect in any decent zoo, as well as some very unusual extras. Alligators roam around a statue of a dinosaur, and a Japanese garden in the botanic section is filled with garden gnomes.
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