Jungle Fever

Zurich is about the last place in the world you'd expect to see a red-ruffed lemur or panther chameleon—in the middle of the alpine winter, no less. But the city's zoo on Zurichbergstrasse is a tropical jungle all year round. The 10,000-sq-m greenhouse is one of the world's largest man-made rain forests: its humidity and temperature faithfully re-create the climate and ecosystem of the endangered rain forest on Madagascar's Masoala Peninsula.

After the initial climatic shock—it helps to remove as much clothing as you decently can—you find yourself surrounded by giant trees with twisted roots, rubber plants sprouting...

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