Only 50 kilometers away from the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires lies Temaikèn Park. There, both grown-ups and children learn to respect biodiversity and preserve the environment through games.
It was only a 35 minutes’ drive from the Federal District. Once in the parking, we were surprised by some huge letters on the grass announcing the name of the place: “Temaikèn”, a word deriving from the Tehuelche voices: “tem”, land, and “aikèn”, life.
As soon as we entered, we had a pleasant feeling. There is a strong reason to feel at ease: there are no cages in this “land of life”. The special areas were designed to manage the welfare of the species, which can move about as if they were in their natural environment. Various kinds of animals co-exist in certain spaces. “This way, we attempt to reproduce what happens in nature”, explains one of the park guides to some Spanish tourists.
In this park, inaugurated in July 2001, everything has been carefully thought so as to manage a respectful interaction between human beings and wildlife. The environment is wild and soft lounge music may be heard in some areas, without altering the balance of the place.
As there are no bars, the proximity between the animals and the audiece acquires new forms, without disregarding safety. For instance, a replica of the cougars cave may be visited in order to watch the felines through a large window. Likewise, we entered a dark underground Patagonian habitat and, behind an acrylic panel, we could discover a skunk, a peludo or a vizcacha as they digged their way through the ground. As we entered the meercats’ burrow, we approached them to an appropriate distance to take a picture of our smiling faces right next to these nice African carnivores.