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Choo-choo! All Aboard the Taipei Zoo’s Pangolin and Frog Trains!

*The Taipei Zoo in Muzha now has two new fun trains to take visitors sightseeing around its grounds. The trains, painted and decked out like a cute pangolin (scaly anteater) and a poison dart frog, passed trial runs just before the extra-long weekend from Thursday, February 27 through Sunday, March 3. The colorful trains with their pangolin scales and colorful frog details are a favorite with young and old, and are the latest selfie spot at the zoo. Come watch and ride the trains for yourself!
Located on the south bank of the Jingmei River, Taipei Zoo is surrounded by hills to the south and east, and sits at an elevation of 100 meters on average. In 1986, when the zoological garden moved from Yuanshan in north-central Taipei to Muzha in the capital’s southeastern suburbs, the new location wasn’t razed to build a new zoo from scratch, but the zoo grounds rather worked with the original mountainous terrain, an approach which has resulted in a beautiful park for the animals and their visitors.
Behind the ticket sales area all the way to the temperate zone animal area features an uphill path with a slope gentle enough for children and seniors to walk along. However, since 2002, the zoo has offered mock steam trains to usher visitors up the hill and down again, which has become a favorite with young and old alike -- to the point that, for many people, a ride on the train has become a must during a day at the zoo.
With the addition of the Pangolin Train and the Poison Dart Frog Train, the zoo now operates ten rubber-wheeled, gas-fueled tourist trains on its grounds. Each train has a unique exterior design and different seating layout. You may board the train for only TWD 5 (or for free if you’re preschool age or disabled). Simply drop your coins in the toll box (no change) or swipe your EasyCard and hop aboard! The trains depart every 10-15 minutes from 9:00 AM on weekdays and even as often as once every 3-5 minutes on weekends and holidays. A fun ride for all train lovers both young and young at heart!
Even though the trains run through the zoo park at no more than 20 kilometers per hour, for safety’s sake, visitors shouldn’t stand up during the ride. The 4-6 minute journey from the main station to the aviary station takes its passengers along lush scenery, where they have a chance to spot wildlife such as tree lizards, squirrels, Taiwan barbets, and Formosan blue magpies (Taiwan’s national bird) on and among the trees. Forks in the road feature safety mirrors framed in animal contours with deer ears or lion manes. The mirrors help the train driver see oncoming traffic and also tell the passengers which animal’s home they’re passing by. Can you guess every animal home by its mirror?
Taipei Zoo website: http://www.zoo.gov.tw/
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YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/TaipeiZoo