Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zoo ~ Wild Animal Park at Kolmarden

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody

It was the first day of summer, June 2005, my 65th birthday, I was in Sweden and my friend Inga wanted to make this a special day for me. She took me to so many places that day and made it one of the most special and memorable days of my life. The first part was a visit to Kolmarden's Wild Animal Park, located in a big forest a few hours drive from Stockholm.

We started out visiting the tame critters and I, who love goats so, found a baby one nursing.

Looks like they are all resting here.

All enclosures are large and well designed.

This really got me. ~ Tigers wandering about in a Swedish meadow.

Testing the water. It's the first day of summer so it may still be cold.

I think I'll be brave!

Nothing like a swim to give you a good appetite.

 Soon we came upon a large meadow with an animal population straight out of Africa.

I saw Swedish pine trees, tall and slender, in the background, but look who lives here: Rhinos, wildebeest, giraffes and antelope…all together in this large area. 

Soon the rhinos started out on a walkabout around the pond.

As the rhinos approached, the antelope started to move away, except for one who was butting horns with a wildebeest. 

Extremely tall fences and sturdy gates enclose the areas you can drive through. Our first encounter was with a moose, looking relaxed as we drove by.

Then we got lucky ~ a brown bear approached the road.

And since this was such a special day for me, of course he walked right in front of our car. 

In another enclosed area, we came upon this peaceful scene. It was still difficult for me to wrap my brain around seeing these animal in such a typical Swedish setting.

Toward the end of our drive, we came upon a pride of lions

playing in a meadow.

This made me so excited, my camera somehow got out of focus.

Right before we left, we came upon the best of all, lion cubs. They were lined up against the fence and a bit difficult to capture. Thanks again, Inga, for a wonderful day that I will never forget.

And so ends my Swedish Rhapsody and the A to Z Challenge 2012. Thank you for following me on this journey or for  stopping by every now and then. I appreciate your comments so much, it has been fun to watch you discover the beautiful country of my birth. I'm thrilled that I may have inspired some of you to visit Sweden, maybe even taking a cruise through the Stockholm archipelago or visiting the historic city of Uppsala, the castle at Kalmar, or the smaller town of Ystad in the south. Maybe you will go to your library and check out the Wallander series of detective novels by Henning Mankell; revisit Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren; or read The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, by Selma Lagerlof to your kids, grandkids or just enjoy them yourself. I hope so.

I have learned so much about myself on this journey. I especially learned that my parents gave me a wonderful and special childhood and young adulthood to look back on. You never heard the concept of creating good memories back then, but that's exactly what they did. 

Just a Note: I'm only interested in zoos that take good care of their animals. I had intended to write about the Stockholm zoo here because they changed a lot since I lived there and seem to be doing a good job now, limiting their animals to Swedish species only. I had reserved W for this park, but then Why I Came to America seemed more important since so many of you, my blogger friends, wondered why I left Sweden. 

The A to Z Challenge has been a wonderful experience for me and for that I want to thank the hosts:

Arlee Bird, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, Jenny Pearson, Matthew McNish, Tina Downey, Jeremy Hawkins, D. L. Hammons, Shannon Lawrence, Elizabeth Mueller, Damyanti Biswas, Konstanz Silverbow and Karen Gowen: 

Thank you so much for your efforts to ensure the success of the A to Z Challenge. It has been a great experience for me.


  1. i love natural looking zoos. and enjoyed learning more about you and your homeland thru this a-z series!

  2. Himla trevlig resa, synd att inte Å, Ä och Ö finns. Hade varit trevligt och se de inläggen och vad du hittat på. Vi har toppenväder +19 C i skuggan kl 4 PM.
    Vi skall nog ner till sjön snart, ta med grillmat , något gott att dricka och bara vara.
    Trevlig Valborg! Kram!

  3. You did an amazing job with this A-Z series! I'm wondering how these animals adjust to the Swedish climate, which is so different from Africa.

  4. Congratulations on your A to Z challenge. It's been wonderful reading about your beautiful native country and about your own history with Sweden. Brilliant!

  5. Lovely finish to a great series of posts. I've really enjoyed learning more about Sweden - and you.

    I've always wanted a grass roof with goats munching on it as I saw in a picture book many, many years ago. I think that was the beginning of my delight in goats.

  6. Oh but I wish all zoos were like this. What a gorgeous birthday you had. And, Inger, thank you for sharing your Swedish legacy with me. I learned so much and am appreciative for the time you took to include those little things that so flavor a journey. I hope to return to those posts I missed.

  7. great entry, I am with you I only am for Zoos that take care of their animals properly. The Toronto Zoo has made great improvements, especially in the African Savanna area and their Gorilla enclosure.
    I missed a few of your entries, especially "W" so I will have to go back and check it out why you came to America...after all you never know when there will be a test lol.

    YEAH we made it through the challenge...good for us for hanging in.And congrats to everybody else you did. :)

  8. What a fun way to finish. Congratulations on a successful challenge. I've enjoyed reading your posts!

  9. Inger, I have LOVED learning about Swedish cultures and traditions but more importantly, I have loved learning about YOU! ...that has been a true highlight!
    Congrats on making it to the end and I look forward to now hearing about your everyday life!

  10. That is a wonderful zoo! I'm like you, I can't stand to go to a zoo where all the animals are in little cages, looking bored and depressed. It's got to be open spaces for me to be interested. I'm curious, though. Surely, in the Winter, the animals can't be out roaming around there in the snow and cold. Do they have indoor facilities for them to stay in when it's too miserable outside? I bet they do.

  11. I am impressed that you were disciplined enough to follow though with the whole series. I know I wouldn't be. I enjoyed it very much Inger, thank you

  12. these are all amazing scenes, love the giraffes, and the tigers oh my, so sweet and i love the fact they are in a natural setting. looks well taken care of. that makes me happy

  13. Nice to see this place again :)
    Lovely photos.

  14. Lovely photos. I've enjoyed reading about Sweden, I still have a few more to read but now the challenge has finished I'll have time to pop bag. Well done on making the A to Z so interesting.

  15. Thank you so much for your ever so king comments throughout this entire challenge. That's what really kept me going, because I got very, very tired at times. And while I had a few posts written in advance, there were a whole lot of them that I had to write during the month. Phew, I am so glad I made it.
    I wondered too where the animals to in the winter. Of course, many of them have to be indoors and I didn't think to ask at the time or to look for indoor facilities. I am curious, so I will try to find out.

  16. Well done, Inger! You did it!

    That looks like a very nice zoo.

  17. Nice wrap-up, Inger. I am going to look up the Wallander books, since I'm working on a mystery on the side.

    Congrats on doing a great job! I liked reading about Sweden, and your funny comments.

    Do drop in to my blog and say hi when you can.

  18. congrats on making your journey this year

    It bookends last years journey very well

    in between is a remarkable woman.

  19. I really like that natural looking Africa enclosure.

  20. That is a great zoo! Our zoo animals are enclosed so much they are actually difficult to see.

  21. Congratulations for completing the A-Z challenge!! Thank you for the beautiful and educative posts. And especially, thank you for visiting my blog.


  22. Inger : A well laid out zoo. Your Swedish theme was an excellent choice and I enjoyed visiting your country.

    Hi-Five.... We did it again. Another year down the tubes. Here's to more blogging fun.

  23. You can't go wrong when you end with animals and pictures of them. Congrats on A-Z!

  24. Hi Inger .. great sharing your day out with your friend .. a very special time. I love wild animals - great to see the mix here ..

    Cheers - Hilary

  25. Dear Inger, . . . like you, I want zoos to place animals in their natural habitat. The zoo you visited made the habitat conducive to contentment for the animals, but I wonder what those animals did during the Swedish winters.

    I mostly believe that the only reason to take animals out of their habitat is to keep them from going extinct.
    And because of poaching in Africa and other places, many animals are on the brink of extinction, so we need zoos.


  26. Congrats on making it all the way through and thanks for taking us along. Sweden has always been on my bucket list.
    I too was wondering how the African animals fared during the winter.

  27. What a neat place! I'm always happy to hear about a place that cares for their animals instead of just exploiting them. Love the cubs! I'm glad this has been a good experience for you. Congratulations on making it to Z!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  28. When the title said "Zoo," I thought it might be about the livestock around your place.

    Instead, a Swedish zoo. With BEARS!! Lots of Bear. Living in really nice places!

    Congratulations on finishing the A-Z Challenge. Life got in my way a bit; I'll finish later, but i will finish.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

  29. This looks like a wonderful place for the animals, Inger. They do look very naturalized.
    I am one who has learned from your series that I would love to visit Sweden some day, especially a cruise through the archipelago.
    Now off to read 'W'. Thanks for this.

  30. This looks like a wonderful place to visit. I'm glad you were able to join us for the 2012 Challenge. I was surprised to see so much representation from Sweden this year.
    Congratulations for making it to the end of the alphabet with us.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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