If residents of Buenos Aires listen carefully they can hear the symphony of noise emanating from behind the once grand walls of Eco Parque.
In one of the most heavily congested areas of Argentina’s capital, it has become all too apparent that no one is listening, carefully, or otherwise to the desperate cries from Eco Parque’s animals.
It has been a year since the 140-year-old Buenos Aires Zoo closed its doors and animals once treasured seem nothing more than apparitions to city officials eager to move forward.
Designed by urbanist Jordán Czeslaw Wysocki and architect Julio Dormal, the Parque Tres de Febrero urban park had its inauguration in 1875. The Park would lay the foundation for the birth of the Buenos Aires zoo in 1888.
Founded by Mayor Antonio Crespo the 45-acre Zoo’s goals were to conserve species, produce research and to educate the public.
The Zoo’s first director Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg decided the Animals would reside in housing designed to reflect their countries of origin. Asian elephants occupied a replica of a Hindu temple, Giraffes were housed in an Islamic-inspired structure, the red panda in a Chinese pagoda and so on and so forth.
At the time of its creation, the area surrounding the zoo was quiet and peaceful. The serenity only broken by the sounds of animals never before heard by most Argentinians of that era.
In the 140 years since its creation, not only the sounds, but the zoo itself had become overwhelmed by the unending growth of Argentina’s Capital city. Over a century of Buenos Aire’s expansion has secreted away the serenity and seclusion the Zoo once enjoyed.
After a century of use, many of those buildings director Holmberg oversaw the construction of, still remain. Structures once colorful and bright are now blackened from weariness. The dark melancholy animal habitations provide testament to the Zoo’s decades of neglect.