The Yakut zoo “Orto-Doydu” is a state institution and one of the brightest sights of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The Zoological Park is located on the left bank of the Lena River, just 50 km from the capital of the republic in a very picturesque place – the Erkenani Valley, between a huge mountain and an asphalted road that leads from Yakutsk to Pokrovsk.
In the translation from the Yakut language, “Orto Doydu” means “middle world”. In Yakut mythology, there are three worlds – the lower, middle and upper. The lower world is inhabited by devils (abas), in the average world, people and animals live, and the upper gods. The Yakut zoo symbolizes just the middle world.
Zoological park “Orto-Dojdu” was founded in January 2001. The main initiator of its creation was the President of the Republic of Sakha – Mikhail Efimovich Nikolaev. The institution was structurally referred to the Department of Biological Resources of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Yakutia and registered as a legal entity. In May 2001, the zoo received its first visitors.
For today the Yakut zoo is the only zoo in the world working in the conditions of the northern extreme cold climate. Its main feature is that the zoo can take any wild animals and provide them with the necessary help.
At the moment, the zoo has about 170 species of animals from different geographical areas. Here, successful results were achieved in the breeding of the Yakut cow, the trotter of the East Siberian, the polar wolf and the polar fox. There are also exotic species of Yakutia and such rare animals as the Amur tiger, golden eagle, musk ox, Asian wild, beaver, spotted deer, white-tailed eagle, small swan and so on. Pets are purchased by the zoo or transferred by exchange from other Russian zoos. Many of the animals were taken as a gift from the inhabitants.
In the near future the Yakut zoo is planned to expand, for this purpose, a plot of 60 hectares was allocated on the indigenous shore.