Lonely Planet Writer

"Poo is life": Rome’s Bioparco zoo opens a poo-themed exhibition

Rome’s Bioparco zoo has a new attraction that is bound to delight visiting children – an exhibition all about the natural history and science of poo. 

The poo exhibition aims to teach children all about the natural process.
The poo exhibition aims to teach children all about the natural process. Image by Bioparco di Roma

At the opening ceremony for the new exhibition, the zoo’s president Federico Coccia declared that, ‘without animal poo, there wouldn’t be fertile ground and so there wouldn’t be trees, oxygen, food… poo is life.’

The ‘La Cacca’ exhibition includes ten interactive sections covering a variety of topics, such as ‘poo as a source of food, a communication method, a means of identification, of fuel, a construction material, fertiliser, a hiding place, and so on.’ Highlights include enormous fossilised dinosaur faeces, lifesize models of a variety of animals and their droppings and an interactive poop machine that mirrors the digestive system – you feed in food and get out energy and excrement.

The poo exhibition is surprisingly interactive.
The poo exhibition is surprisingly interactive. Image by Bioparco di Roma

Kids will learn how to identify different kinds of animal droppings from their characteristic features, as well as how animals use poo to mark their territory and communicate with one another. They can also get hands on with different textures of poo, and sniff out different types of poo using their sense of smell alone.

The exhibition runs until 30 June 2017 and on Sunday 26 March there will be a special family day, with workshops, guided tours and a hunt for the strangest poo. The zoo is located in Rome’s central Villa Borghese park.

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