Roooaarrr, dear Birdie-peeps and welcome to the latest adventure of BIRDIE, this time from our brand new Berlin-section!
We tell you here about our trip from the time of mid September, actually a fantastic time with the end of summer and golden days with warm weather in the capital of Germany.
And because the weather was promised to be very nice and late summerish that day, we decided to spend this day in a very special location, which is perfect for such a day.
I can remember only very vague about that location from my last visit there when I was a young child in GDR times – the Berlin zoological garden Friedrichsfelde.
But what I could still remember exactly, were many adorable and amazing remembrances of these exotic animals – big, small, loud, silent, colorful, grey – long, short – in every imaginable way.
Due to the fact, that I have been a big fan of animals and also dinosaurs from my earliest days (in the age of 12 I knew all era’s and their Latin names as well as the existing reptiles of that time) the zoo was a big attraction for me anyway!
So it was high time, to refresh memories.
In Berlin there are actually two zoo parks. One zoo park is called as Zoological Garden on the edge between Mitte and Charlottenburg.
This is the oldest zoo in Germany (it opened in 1844) and then we have the so called Tierpark (means by word something like Animal park) in Berlin Friedrichsfelde, which is located in East Berlin. This one is not the oldest, but the biggest one in whole Europe.
We went for this one.
Berlin zoological garden
But first, lets come up with some interesting numbers and facts:
In total there are 815 species in this zoo park with about 7,700 individuals.
During the best times the Berlin zoological garden had nearly 10,000 animals.
Very famous are for example the gigantic African elephants, as well as a baby rhino and baby tigers.
The zoo has two entrances, this you should keep in mind when you want to meet with friends and you wait for each other at the different gates.
This is exactly how we did, as we wanted to meet with my sister and her boyfriend.
Well everything turned out good in the end and we met at entrance „Schloss Friedrichsfelde“.
It’s called that way because directly there is located a little palace, which was already built in the year 1695.
During the years right away after the second world war this building didn’t really had a purpose so that was the reason why it was used for the function for the zoo.
The main idea was namely to have a suitable version of the west-Berlin version of the zoo.
This ideological competition as it is even quite existent nowadays.
The zoo itself was founded in the year 1955 and in the very first times there even were 120 different species to be discovered. Large financial donations (even from West Germany and foreign countries ) allowed more and more inhabitants like elephants and tigers moved into their new homes. Nowadays, as mentioned the park is pretty big and very diversified.
In the heart of the zoo is located the „Alfred-Brehm-Haus“, which harbours all kind of wild cats like lions, tigers, pumas, panthers and others, as well as a tropical house with numerous exotic birds and Indian giant fruit bats.
Here we have some examples of those so beautiful creatures.
Another highlight is the pachyderm-house, which is inhabited as the name already says by peaceful gigantic African and Asian elephants as well as Indian rhinos and manatees.
A Giraffe house as part of the so called “Africanum” with space for Cape buffalos and for ostrichs is of course also a “must see”!
For those who like it a bit more direct and are not afraid of skin contact with wild animals: Try out a walk through the Vari-wood, which is home of the homonymous prosimians from Madagaskar.
Be aware – these are still wild animals which also can and will react wild, so of course especially when you are with kids, keep that in mind.
By the way – „Kids“ is a good keyword. Of course a visit in the zoo is an amazing highlight for tiny ones. And because the zoo management also knows this, there is a special children- & pettingzoo with mostly indigenous animals. This is of course a very easy and nice way for kids to learn about these species.
What is kind of important for me personally is that parents in general should take care how their children behave in contact with zoo animals.
Far from all curiosity which is of course totally normal and good, it cannot be that children are hitting against glass windows, scream into animals faces or are causing other kind of stress on them.
This simply has something to do with education and taking responsibility.
In any case a zoo is something to might have different opinions about. People are arguing in general if it is a good thing to cage animals.
Related to my so far experiences with German zoos, my personal opinion is that the animals there have a very good and satisfying life – generally spoken.
And also the zookeepers have a very strong binding to the animals and treat them with respect, intensive caretaking and surely also love!
Especially when you look at the continuing decimation and even extermination of more and more species, many zoo animals nowadays have a better life compared to their wild conspecifics.
Also more and more breeding successes show, that the way is obviously a good and right way and this strong engagement of the zoo in many conservation projects leads to spectacular re-introductions into the wild of animals like bearded vultures, gazelles and others. Additionally a zoo is also a fantastic possibility for studying manners of animals.
Well, to go into detail about all species in the Berlin zoological garden Friedrichsfelde would be too much for this post of course and to be honest, let’s also keep some surprises left for visiting the zoo by yourselves.
To make it short: A visit to the zoo is definitely recommended by us, a day ticket costs regularly 12 EUR per person.
Useful hint: Since a while you can visit the zoo by taking a small electric train, which is for free to use, going around all the time and stops at all the hot spots in the zoo.
For us it was a lot of fun and also relaxing.
In case you are from Berlin, you probably and hopefully already visited the zoo and might want to refresh your knowledge and for all BIRD-peeps:
BIRDIE recommends the visit of the zoo with 5 of 5 points! 🙂
So, that’s it for now, travel-peeps! For all further information and facts… here you find the full package:
http://www.tierpark-berlin.de/en (english website)
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Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.