Approved Financing for IPA Project for Palic Zoo

During the first week of May, Palic Zoo received notification of the approval of the IPA project HR-RS00076 – Majestic ZOO-S. Palic Zoo, as the lead partner, applied for funding from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia last year. Together with project partners, we have been granted the opportunity to utilize non-refundable funds amounting to a maximum of 1.3 million euros, aimed at introducing new attractions in the zoo and indirectly enhancing the tourist potential of our city. According to the project submitted by Palic Zoo in partnership with the Tourist Organization of the City of Subotica to cross-border partner Unikom Ltd. (whose Osijek Zoo is part of the organizational structure), supported by the Tourist Board of the City of Osijek, both zoos plan to construct facilities for native animal species, as well as a children’s playground and an outdoor classroom.

After the construction of new facilities in the zoos, the focus shifts to partner tourist organizations that contribute through joint and individual activities to the promotion of the tourist destination, which would increase the number of visitors to the zoos and generally emphasize the tourism potential of the regions involved in the cross-border project.

We are pleased to elevate our excellent collaboration with Osijek Zoo to a higher level through this project, promoting each other and exchanging experiences.

Equally important is the opportunity to build new facilities in our zoo, and we plan:

New children’s playground – after nearly 50 years of use, the old playground is retiring and will be replaced between November 2024 and April 2025. A completely new playground is being built from scratch, featuring numerous interactive and educational animal-themed elements. Animal-shaped playhouses will blend into the zoo’s environment, enhancing the appeal of the new space for children. We have taken special care to preserve all existing trees on the playground, ensuring it remains a favorite spot for relaxation in the heart of the zoo. All educational and interactive panels will be accessible to young children and individuals with disabilities.

Outdoor Classroom – By adapting the wooden terrace adjacent to the tapir aviary, the space will be transformed into a summer classroom. Complete replacement of wooden parts and flooring is scheduled for the summer break of 2025. Equipment and elements are being added to tailor the space for groups of children participating in the educational programs of the Palić Zoo. Our education program, which includes approximately 17,000 school children during the school year, is a standout example of best practices. Alongside the three existing facilities already in use at the Zoo, we will create this additional facility available to educators. The classroom will be equipped with standard technical equipment, mobile microscopes for group work, and fixed binoculars for observing animals—primarily birds in the protected natural area.

New Facility: “Baby Zoo” – planned for completion by the end of 2025, directly adjacent to the children’s playground. This interactive facility will be built on the site of the current aviary and enclosure for pygmy goats. Visitors will have the opportunity to enter the new aviary, or courtyard of the “Baby Zoo,” and interact with several species under the supervision of zookeepers. The experience of observing animals up close, encountering them without barriers, has so far been possible only for groups of children in special programs at the zoo; the construction of the new facility will make it accessible to every visitor. The residents of Baby Zoo must not be disturbed, but they can be touched and petted. The experience of close contact with animals is both an attraction and an unforgettable memory, crucial for fostering empathy in children and sensory experience in individuals with special needs.

The idea guiding the design of this space was to unify a part of tradition – the Pannonian courtyard where visitors will have the opportunity for direct contact with native animal species. This will be followed by a presentation of the natural ecosystem, where actively exotic species that attract more attention will be accommodated. In this second facility within the Baby Zoo area, visitors will be able to closely observe the ecosystem, witnessing the life of animals in their natural environment. An imitation jungle with real plants and small mammal species inhabiting tree canopies and underground habitats will be showcased. By allowing animals to express their natural behavior, we educate visitors about the importance of symbiosis, coexistence with other species, and the importance of biodiversity in nature. It goes without saying, but we emphasize once again: all animal facilities will be designed to protect the welfare of all animals housed within them, allowing them to hide or stay away from people if they choose.


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