Wednesday 12 December 2007

Nikolai & Felix @ Randers Tropical Zoo

Last Saturday Countess Alexandra her husband Martin Jørgensen and the princes Nikolai and Felix visited Randers Tropical Zoo where a new expansion project is planned. It is already an impressive place to visit to see replica distant habitats and experience animals and habitat in a direct and exciting way. Alexandra has been before as a patron, but this was the first time Nikolai and Felix had visited.

From Randers Amtsavis Familien Jørgensen på jungletur – The family Jørgensen on a trip to the jungle:
The animals in Randers Tropical Zoo had a very special experience Saturday evening. The lights are usually turned off but instead they were brightly lit up showing the big green ferns and palms. And long after the usual feeding time, it rained with nuts, meal worms, bits of fish and other delicacies – almost like Chrismas Eve.
It was also like Christmas Eve for the two guests of honour – the Princes Nikolai and Felix, who had a fantastic experience beneath the domes [of the rainforest buildings].
After the official tour with the press and a South American dinner, the two princes had an extra, secret expedition with two of the rainforest’s knowledgeable guides, while mummy, Countess Alexandra and her husband, Martin Jørgensen, were informed about the future projects for the rainforest.
It was two inquisitive, natural and eager princes who in were allowed to study and feed the animals up close in peace and quiet. They talked away and asked hundreds of questions, as children aged five and eight do. And they cheered, when they spotted a new animal [animals can be hard to spot in a rainforest!].
“Look, I hit the crocodile with a meal worm,” laughed Felix, but the crocodile, which is used to bigger prey, didn’t even flinch with so much as a bat of an eye.
Most of the other guests in the rainforest waited outside in the foyer for a concert with a young music idol, also called Nikolai, so there were hardly any guests, neither in Asia, South America nor Africa after 7pm. Some of the few there didn’t even notice that the two sweet boys in matching shirts, trousers and shoes were Nikolai and Felix.
It was the Panda Club under the WWF, which along with the rainforest zoo was in charge of the event and the schedule also included a third Nikolaj: the cook Nikolaj Kirk, who cooked some exotic animals and vegetables for the speacial menu.
As a well behaved prince you naturally eat up politely when you are served something – even though it’s quick roasted meal worms, crickets and larvae. The two princes glanced at mother Alexandra, who bravely tasted the delicacies too.
“It almost tastes like popcorn,” Nikolai assessed, as he dealt with the rain of camera flashes with calm and indifference.
Elegant Alexandra dressed in a simple woollen beige sleeveless dress and high heels smiled in a friendly way to everyone and allowed her enthusiasm to show, especially when seeing the huge albino snake again.
“Why, that’s Henriette,” she exclaimed enthusiastically and when the two small princes were allowed to enter the snake enclosure, it was not only the eager press but also step dad Martin Jørgensen who had to take a few snaps.
One of the funnyiest things was the heat sensitive camera, where you can “paint” yourself black in the face with an ice cube, and that made the entire family Jørgensen laugh at each other.
“What was the best part?” Countess Alexandra asked her two sons.
“The shark. And the crocodile. And the piranhas and the snakes. And…,” was the simultaneous eager response from the two princes.
They were tired but happy when they walked out to the waiting Mercedes Viano with chauffeur and darkened windows. (written by Lea Nielsen and kindly translated by Muhler)

Nikolai and Felix had the chance to experience what the rainforest animals eat. The meal worm recipe from Nikolaj Kirk, if you are ever in need of it, is heat until the worms pop and then add garlic! That's Nikolai's hand choosing the yummiest bug, which he said tasted like popcorn, and Felix really does it: he eats the meal worm!

World Wildlife Fund
WWF Denmark (English)
Randers Tropical Zoo (Randers is not far from Århus in east Jutland)
The Domes at the zoo
Randers Tropical Zoo and the WWF

TV2 Øst news clip (02:07)

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