Actor Janek Joost and his son Otto (15) went on a test tour of the rainforest before the exhibition opened.
“It’s really cool! People have worked so hard!” he praises. “Even when these animals are shown in closed enclosures, it’s done in the best possible way – the animals have been given the best possible conditions. I can see that this is the case.”
Otto adds that he really enjoyed it too. “If you get away from the cold, this is definitely the place to be. And the animals were very fierce! Especially the Asian small-clawed otters – and the fishing cats were very nice too. They looked like lynxes or little leopards.”
Janek and Otto were struck by the lifelike imitations of rock formations.
“The otters had a cable running down them, invisible to most people, to make sure that if someone gets really skilful they don’t climb over it. What’s nice is that it’s not an electrical cord bought from the ground somewhere, but this cable is also tucked into a rainforest-like vine. The view is kept as believable as possible.” Janek shares his impressions.
He admits to being saddened by reading the leaflets with his son.
“The fact that some animal species are almost extinct. Thirty percent of Lyle flying foxes have disappeared in the last fifteen years! That the rainforests on Borneo will be completely gone by 2100!” he can’t help wondering. “We read the same thing about palm oil. These info-posters are quite terrifying.”
Otto notes that young people are quite well informed about climate change and its impacts.
Already in fifth grade, he and his classmates were taught about recycling and sustainable living. “They didn’t tell me about it at school, I found out about climate change myself and I’ve come to the point where I’m not a very big supporter of trade,” says Janek.
But both father and son are happy to know that the zoo’s inhabitants are still able to survive – the Asian small-clawed otters brought in in December had offspring in January. “Four small otters were born, which shows that they have embraced the environment,” Janek remembers the guide telling him.
He says it’s nice to come to the rainforest in the cold weather – you can experience a nice warm, humid atmosphere. “But on the other hand, you have to take off all your jackets, scarves and hats because it’s still quite hot,” he now knows. “I imagine it’s not easy at all to create those living conditions in this climate.”