Free entrance to Elistvere Animal Park on its birthday 26.08
Villu and Vilja, the oldest inhabitants of RMK’s Elistvere Animal Park, arrived in Jõgeva County in 1997, from the Tallinn Zoo. “Keeping in mind the average lifespan of bisons, this is a truly dignified pair of seniors – mama bison Vilja is 19 and her mate Villu 18,” said Sirje Saul, manager of the animal park. “If they were people, Villu would need a walking stick and Vilja could use a pair of glasses.”
The bear Karoliina – who will reach adulthood next year – is also one of the first inhabitants of the animal park. The average lifespan of bears is about 40 years, so according to Sirje Saul, she is still a rather young animal. “The youngest residents we have right now are the fallow deer calves born in July, who are spending their time mostly eating and sleeping,” Sirje Saul said.
To celebrate the birthday, entrance to the animal park will be free of charge on Thursday and visitors will be treated to the same festive snacks as the inhabitants of the animal park – turnips, carrots and cauliflower. We ask visitors to not feed the animals, but if you wish to bring apples from your home garden, for example, as a present, you can leave these at the entrance to the animal park or with the employees. On Thursday, the animal park will be open from 10.00 to 20.00.
Elistvere Animal Park is home to about one hundred inhabitants, half of whom are mammals, with half being rodents living in a separate building. On display at the animal park are, for example, European bison, elk, reindeer, roe deer, fallow deer, brown bears, lynxes, foxes, red squirrels, pine martens, European hares, and pheasants.
RMK’s Elistvere Animal Park is part of RMK’s Tartu-Jõgeva Recreation Area, in Elistvere, Jõgeva County. In 2014, RMK’s Elistvere Animal Park was visited more than 55,000 times.
RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK earns a profit for the state through forest management, growing reforestation material, and organising forest and nature protection works. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking and shapes nature awareness. RMK consists of the Sagadi Forest Centre, the Elistvere Animal Park, the Tartu Tree Nursery, AS Eesti Metsataim and the Põlula Fish Farm. More than 700 people work for RMK.
Manager of RMK’s Elistvere Animal Park