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New Entrance to the Taipei Zoo
The Taipei Zoo (Chinese: 臺北市立動物園), sometimes referred to as the "Muzha Zoo" (木柵動物園), is a public institution affiliated to Taipei Citymarker in Taiwanmarker. It is the most famous and a leading zoological garden in Taiwan in terms of the efforts on recreation, conservation, research and education, it is also the present largest zoo in Asia.

Taipei zoo was founded in 1914, when Taiwan was under Japanese sovereignty, in Yuanshan on the northern suburb of Taipei City. It was originally a private zoological garden owned by a Japanesemarker citizen, Mr Oe. The Japanese government in Taiwan bought the property the following year and opened it as a public park. After World War II, the Republic of Chinamarker came to Taiwan and the ownership of the park was passed to the Taipei city government of ROC. Due to a need for expansion and for better raising conditions for the animals, the zoo was moved to its current site in Muzha on the southeastern suburb of Taipei City in 1986. It is, therefore, sometimes referred to as the "Muzha Zoo" (木柵動物園) because of its location and to be distinguished from the former "Yuan-shan Zoo". The current site encloses 165 hectares, including 90 hectares open to the public.

Exhibitions

Previous entrance to the zoo
The Taipei Zoo displays animals from Taiwanmarker, Australia, Africa, the Asian tropical rainforest, the desert, and the temperate zones. The zoo also displays domestic animals in its Children's Zoo, as well as over 12000 birds of over 130 species in an aviary.Other exhibitions in the zoo include an insectarium, amphibian and reptile house, penguin habitat, koala habitat, nocturnal animals display, and a panda exhibition.

In 2008, the zoo received two pandas from the People's Republic of Chinamarker (PRC), named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan (meaning "reunion"), as a gesture of unity. The gift of the endangered pandas had been rejected by President Chen Shui-bian in 2005 as a violation of international law, but the incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou, of the Kuomintang, had forged stronger economic and diplomatic relations with the PRC under his presidency, and was willing to accept them. The offering of pandas as a gift from the PRC is often known as "panda diplomacy", and the zoo expected to draw around 30,000 visitors a day as a result of their arrival. The move was criticized by supporters of Taiwan's independence and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, who said that "Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan means a union, which perfectly matches Beijing's goal of bringing Taiwan into its fold."

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