Barcelona welcomes two new animal-based attractions
Komodo dragon exhibit arrives at city’s zoo, as augmented reality theme park prepares for opening
The Catalan capital will soon have two brand-new activities for animal lovers, as Barcelona’s zoo opened its Komodo dragon discovery center on Tuesday, and METAOFIX, the first Metaverse counselling agency, will open Metapark in the summer, allowing visitors to witness wild animals like never before: in augmented reality.
The Komodo dragon exhibition is intended to help increase awareness of the largest lizard species on the planet, in particular in relation to its endangered status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The “Land of Dragons” will replicate the climate and flora of the Komodo national park located on the Indonesian island of the same title, where the endemic lizard species gets its name.
It will also feature a life-size model of a Komodo dragon and nest, as well as a panoramic video and noticeboards.
The current Komodo dragon population stands at between just 5,000-6,000 and is dwindling, with human activity being the main cause, such as urbanization, habitat destruction and illegal hunting and trafficking.
However, Komodo dragons are not the only thing new at the zoo this Easter, as the facility is also opening a workshop entitled “The Tortoise’s Shell”, which aims to shed light on the species of tortoise indigenous to Catalonia.
Furthermore, you can choose between different workshops related to animal welfare, conservation of endangered species and zoology. These activities are developed by the Zoo School team, are included in the ticket price and do not require prior reservation.
The zoo has a third new attraction - a more inclusive children’s play area. This includes a sandpit, a wooden sailboat, various log structures, a moving walkway, a rounded mud play table, two suspended horse mobiles, and a horse-drawn carriage.
The next phase will finalize the refurbishment of the play area, and will take place at the end of the year.
Tickets to visit Barcelona Zoo cost €21.40 for adults, €12.95 for those ages 3-12, and are free for those younger than three.
Augmented reality theme park
Meanwhile, 50km away from the Catalan capital, sees the opening of the first wildlife-based augmented reality theme park in Europe.
The Metapark experience features a farm through which guests will go on tours lasting 90 minutes whilst wearing augmented reality glasses, which project a 3D digital image of an animal onto the ground in front of them, using the same modeling and animation techniques as some of the big Hollywood productions.
Aside from the tour, the park will also have a hotel and places to eat.
In the future, METAOFIX, which launched in Spain in early February, also hopes to expand the selection of wonders to be reproduced in augmented reality, such as dinosaurs, or mythical creatures, as well as the addition of festivals, golf courses and other outdoor spaces.
Located in the Parque del Montnegre y el Corredor, the Metapark Zoo, with an initial investment of €500,000 predominantly coming from private companies, is a project carried out by METAOFIX in collaboration with OVR, a world-leading augmented reality platform.
The park opens in July, and tickets will be made available through the Metapark app once it launches in April alongside the website.