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Variety of species on display in Tehran's Safadasht Zoo

Niki, an African jaguar

Yousef Jalali
Press TV, Tehran

With just a short visit to a newly-inaugurated zoo in western Tehran, you can see the rarest animals, from the fiercest predators to the most delicate preys, all inhabiting a piece of land called Safadasht Zoo.

Located some 60 kilometers away from the capital, Tehran, the privately-owned zoo houses 900 animals from over 150 different species, such as lions, a variety of chameleons and, Llama, that is known for its unexpected spits!

Ali Sharafi is the owner of the zoo. He has had a special love for animals since his childhood. He says his zoo houses species that have never been kept in Iran before.

This black beauty is named Niki. The African jaguar came to Iran when she was 5 months old. She is the only jaguar that lives in Iran, and that’s why she looks on edge.

One of the unique features of this zoo is the removal of the strict fences between animals and visitors, which offers the chance to feed animals directly and caress mischievous baby lions that are curious to know whether our camera is eatable.

It feels really good when mankind gets this close to the wildlife. It might seem dangerous, but sometimes, it’s necessary to remember that we are part of this entirety that’s called nature.

And this is achieved by a short tour around this zoo, which makes visitors realize why it matters to care about Mother Nature and preserve this mesmerizing diversity of life forms.



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