African sand zoo under Tatras

Adam Bakoš and a team of carvers from the ice dome at Hrebienok made the statues.

(Source: Adam Bakoš)

More than twenty large animals made out of sand appeared in Poprad. Enlarging the zoo and adding new animals is in the plans, wrote Spiš Korzár.

The park includes an elephant with a two metre long trunk, a crocodile that is seven metres long, rhinos, hippos, wildebeests, hyenas, buffalos, lions, meerkats and more, Spiš Korzár reported.

“We also plan to put an old jeep in the compound and paint it safari colours. It will be a fun spot to take pictures for children and parents,” said Adam Bakoš, as quoted by Spiš Korzár.

Why African animals?

“In our experience, children like big animals the most. We wanted to make them happy so we choose an African theme. If the sand zoo is successful, we will also make some domestic animals or castles,” noted Bakoš, as cited by Spiš Korzár.

The sand statues were made by five sculptors from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Statues like stone

Special sand was imported to Poprad from Hungary on several trucks, Spiš Korzár wrote.

“The sand has to contain lots of water and be thoroughly tamped down in boxes, where we pour it. Then we remove the box and the sand is sculptured into a statue. Then we made it waterproof with a special layer. There are small cracks in the surface and it looks like they are made out of sandstone,“ Bakoš explained for Spiš Korzár.

Bakoš is an experienced carver in woodcarving, ice carving and now sand carving. Working with sand is demanding mainly due to the physical condition required. Artists must pour several cubic metres of sand until they reach a specific shape and size, Spiš Korzár reported.

“Each material is unique. Ice is hard but interesting. On the other side, it is fragile. Statics is important when it comes to sand because it can fall apart easily. Wood is the most universal material. It is a nice and resistant material,” Bakoš said, as quoted by Spiš Korzár.

There is also a zone for snacking in the compound. The sand zoo will be open until the end of October, when Bakoš and the other carvers will go to Hrebienok to prepare the ice dome for the winter season, Spiš Korzár reported.

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