We recently visited Malta's newest attraction: Bird Park Malta. And it certainly won't be our last visit.
Mike and I are generally uneasy about visiting zoos and wildlife parks, but on an island where there is very little wildlife to be seen, we were itching for a close encounter. I'm not sure that animals should be kept in captivity, and I always feel as though zoos and parks have limitless room for improvement. They can always provide more space to their animals, give better care, and better food. I haven't seen a facility that is an exception to this, Bird Park Malta included. But visiting this park was a very positive experience, too.
I commend Bird Park Malta for creating a space in which children and adults can be educated and come into contact with wildlife. Malta is a country where illegal bird hunting and animal welfare are hot topics and prominent problems, and if public education and exposure is needed anywhere, it's here.
At Bird Park Malta you can see over 200 species of birds and animals. Parrots, owls, geese, ducks, goats, meerkats, kangaroos, antelope, flamingos, pelicans. It was amazing. But what's more special about this park is that you can touch, hold, and interact with dozens of birds and animals who are willing and interested in human contact. Under careful supervision from park staff (which, honestly, could be more careful, there were some pretty rambunctious kids handling those little guys) looking into the eyes of a little owl, or snuggling a duckling, or playing with a parrot, or giving a goat a scratch round its itchy horns, is nothing short of magical.
Before you go:
General admission is €8 per person, €5 for children
Current opening hours are 10am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday
Tours are available three times daily at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
There is a cafe on site with amazing views into the park
Tickets can be purchased from the cafe
Restrooms are located inside the cafe