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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens turns 160

The Saigon Times

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Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens held a food festival from March 20 to 24 with 34 stalls serving specialties, dishes and cakes of the Mekong Delta region from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day to celebrate its 160th birthday, attracting a large number of visitors. On the five days of the food festival, 34 stalls made of rattan, bamboo and thatch served such dishes as Chau Doc fish vermicelli soup, Soc Trang vermicelli soup, and Dong Thap sizzling pancakes, and different types of cakes of the Mekong Delta region.

According to thanhnien.vn, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the first zoological garden in Vietnam and is one of the 10 oldest zoos in the world. The zoo now has more than 2,100 faunas of 128 species, and over 2,500 floras of 380 species. Imported animals like giraffes, hippos, zebras, lions and Bengal tigers are developing well in the zoo. It is reported that Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens welcomes over 1.8 million visitors per year.

Hefty profit from cobra breeding

Phan Thanh Binh, 40, a farmer in My Tu District in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, is raising thousands of cobras, earning profits of nearly VND1 billion per year.

In 2015, Binh started to buy 70 cobras from Vinh Long Province to rear in an old, 30-square-meter pigpen on a pilot basis. Due to his lack of experience, the snakes died gradually one by one. After learning the reasons for the death of the snakes, he spent tens of millions of dong building wider and cleaner cages and continued raising cobras. His cobras amounted to 200 individuals two years later, and he began to sell full grown snakes to restaurants.

In 2019, Binh had more than 1,000 parent snakes and thousands of snakelets. As many farmers in the region turned to breeding cobras at that time, he took the chance to sell thousands of snakelets at the price of VND100,000-150,000 each to those in need.

Every year, Binh sells nearly three tons of full grown cobras (to be used as meat) to the market, and thousands of snakelets to interested farmers. He also sells 200kg of the snakes to restaurants in his locality and neighboring provinces. A cobra weighing 1.6kg or more is sold at VND600,000-650,000 per kilogram, vnexpress.net reported.

Horse-drawn carriage made by a mechanic

Tran Van Dung, a 68-year-old mechanic living in Binh Chanh District, HCMC, has made a two-wheeled carriage drawn by a mechanical horse also manufactured by himself. A video featuring the weird horse-drawn carriage riding slowly around the mechanic’s neighborhood went viral on social media these days.

The steel horse is equipped with an internal combustion engine and has two forelegs. The motor horse is attached to the two-wheeled carriage with Dung onboard, and under his operation, it can pull the carriage slowly forward, to the right or to the left. It is noteworthy that the exhaust fumes of the engine emit through the mouth of the steel horse.

Dung told tuoitre.vn that manufacturing machines is his hobby. He added that it took him one month and VND15 million to make the steel horse with an engine and two forelegs. Formerly, he manufactured a three-wheeled electric vehicle for a disabled relative.

Experiencing a nomadic life with eight-month-old son

Le Ngoc Hoa, a 26-year-old resident of HCMC, and her husband have spent the past year living a nomadic life with their eight-month-old son in different regions across the country. Their story has captured huge attention from the public.

When their son reached five months, Hoa’s husband, Le Ngoc Son, secured an online job. They spent three months in Thanh Hoa, celebrating Tet with his parents. With backing from both families, they started their nomadic journey in April 2023, settling in a small homestay in Song Cau Town, Phu Yen Province, for five months.

After that, the family rented a small house at the end of a secluded village overlooking the pine hills in Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Province. After four months, they moved to rent a homestay in the ancient town of D’ran, Don Duong District, Lam Dong Province.

Impressed by the fresh atmosphere, natural beauty, and local culture, the family decided to stay longer there. Son intended to rent a land plot for a long term to pursue his passion for growing organic vegetables.

They also planned to continue their journey until their son starts first grade, then will buy a pickup truck or a mobile home to continue their travels, they told the Thanh Nien news site.

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