Ark of the North – Nordens Ark

Uddevalla and Nordens Ark -a remarkable place for breeding of endangered species. Nordens Ark (Ark of the North) is a zoo located on the 383-hectare (950-acre) Åby Manor in Bohuslän, Sweden. Nordens Ark was opened in 1989 and is operated by the Nordens Ark Foundation (Swedish: Stiftelsen Nordens Ark). Nordens Ark is on the west coast, not too far from the border to Norway. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, was appointed as Nordens Ark Supreme Protector in 1989.

There are three categories of breeding and rearing work at the park.

  1. Endangered old Nordic Breeds.
  2. Endangered Nordic wild Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects.
  3. Endangered exotic wild Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects that come from an environment similar to the Nordic.

This time we visited with our students in the science program, and it was a great success – even if many animals were asleep in the middle of the day. Unfortunately there were no little ones from the snow leopard couple this year – so no photos…I was a bit disappointed, I admit, but there were other interesting animals to photograph.

The big cats are testing their intelligence by different ways of searching for food. Feeding them means you have to find out new clever ways of hiding the food, or for example hanging it up for the big cats to jump to get it. The guides told us a snow leopard can jump about 16 meters and is also a high jumper.

Amur tiger


Amur leopard

Amur leopard

This ball is a toy for the cats to play with. It had centimetre deep scratches – but none of us could even make the tiniest mark using a sharp knife.

Nordens Ark is currently taking part in re-population projects, to release animals born at the facility into the wild, including the white stork, eagle owl, bell frog, otter, European wildcat and lynx.

The park has a national responsibility for rearing and reintroduction of the white-backed woodpecker, peregrine falcon, green toad, lesser white-fronted goose, and several species of beetle.

Peregrine falcon

People who work here really love their mission. Everybody is happy and takes minute care of their protégés.

They were happy to guide us too. Today they told us that the whole pack of wolves was lost a couple of years ago. When the two alfas died, the young ones got out of hand and had to be taken out. Now there is a new pair, which hopefully will breed. This is the female.

Another endangered species – which I had never come across before – is the small deer ”Pudu”. Not much bigger than a dog.

The little red pandas were sleeping everywhere in the trees. Sometimes in incredible positions high up in the canopy.

An interesting day, ending by the sea, where we all reflected on our knew knowledge. The evening was calm and still, and so were our minds. I believe many of us would have liked to work at Nordens Ark, with these magnificent animals.


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