Ormanya’s latest guest was a roe deer that was released into its natural habitat on June 27, 2020. Two-hours away from Istanbul, the park also offers trails, a children’s zoo and a camping area.

Kocaeli is in the Marmara Region of Turkey, in northwestern Anatolia (the Asian peninsula of Turkey). It is approximately two hours from Istanbul by car.

The Kocaeli Municipality has established a park called Ormanya (“Forestland”) catering to families with young children, campers, and nature lovers.

A roe deer is seen before being released  back to its natural habitat, in Ormanya Natural Life Park's Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Kocaeli, Turkey on June 27, 2020.
A roe deer is seen before being released back to its natural habitat, in Ormanya Natural Life Park's Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Kocaeli, Turkey on June 27, 2020. (Tahir Turan Eloglu / AA)

Ormanya aims to protect the animals living there while offering many activities and experiences within the natural habitat. The project is spread out to 2000 decares and hosts 73 species of 916 animals, a caravan and tent camping area that fits 24 caravans and 50 tents, a carpark of 500 vehicles free of charge, 8 km bicycle and 18 km of walking trails, and a picnic area of 5000 people capacity.

A swan drifting through the water at Ormanya’s children’s zoo in Kocaeli, Turkey.
A swan drifting through the water at Ormanya’s children’s zoo in Kocaeli, Turkey. (Courtesy of Ormanya)

In the children’s zoo, there are animals such as sheep, goats, ponies, geese, chickens and ducks in their natural habitat, 766 animals of 67 specials total.

The rehabilitation process for wild animals at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre provides professional care to the sick or injured ones and prepares them for a successful release back into the wild.
The rehabilitation process for wild animals at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre provides professional care to the sick or injured ones and prepares them for a successful release back into the wild. (Tahir Turan Eroglu / AA)

There is also a wildlife area that provides for wild animals from Kocaeli and environs as well as from Anatolia and the world –– provided they can adapt to the surroundings ––. The animals are not displayed as if they were in traditional zoos but they are observed from afar.

The wildlife area aims to facilitate protection, research and education activities as well as to help teach visitors about nature and preservation. It contains 150 animals of 5 species: fallow deer (alageyik), red deer (kizil geyik), gazelle (ceylan), roe deer (karaca), and wild horse (yilki ati).

The roe deer is being released into Ormanya grounds in an area where other roe deer live.
The roe deer is being released into Ormanya grounds in an area where other roe deer live. (Tahir Turan Eroglu / AA)

The botanical path flanked by aromatic plants is 200 metres long and is open to visitors.

Moreover, with four trails, there are a total of 26 kilometres of walking and biking trails available in Ormanya.

Ormanya also offers camping for caravans and tents in the midst of nature, but with amenities such as bathrooms, water, showers and electricity.

The fawn (baby roe deer) takes one last look at its caregivers before it hops away. It will be monitored and attended to by Ormanya biologists regularly.
The fawn (baby roe deer) takes one last look at its caregivers before it hops away. It will be monitored and attended to by Ormanya biologists regularly. (Tahir Turan Eroglu / AA)

There are educational programmes for children in four stages: Nature explorers, nature detectives, forest art workshop, and little farmers. Children are encouraged to strengthen their bonds with nature and to see it at its purest form.

The Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre is set up in order to critically intervene and track, protect, treat, quarantine and rehabilitate wild animals.

Source: TRT World