The history of the Berlin Zoo goes back over 150 years — it was the first zoo in Germany and the ninth in the world. The Berlin Zoo remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, and for good reason — the park currently has around 1,500 animal species, and a stroll through the zoo is a great way to experience the world of wildlife. Despite the size of the park's 34 hectares, it is located within the city limits, in Berlin's Tiergarten district. The entrance to the Berlin zoo is very unusual: 27-ton stone elephants decorate the main gate of the zoo on both sides. This architectural composition was designed in the nineteenth century, being called the "Elephantheron".
The total number of animals in Germany's main zoo is around 17,000. The park is equipped with aviaries, but they are not quite as we are used to seeing them — decorative elements of the aviaries kind of hide fences, creating an effect of presence next to the animals. The cages are no less secure: visitors are fenced off from wild animals by ditches.
In an attempt to perfectly recreate the "wild world", the zoo staff give the animals ample freedom — animals from neighbouring enclosures communicate with each other without hindrance. Those animals that cannot be allowed complete freedom also live in comfortable conditions and are provided with all the necessary amenities.
The Berlin Zoo has a lot to be proud of: some of the animals permanently living there are truly unique: some of them are endangered species. Naturally, tourists have developed favourites among the animals over the years. One such is Bao the panda, born in the zoo in 1978 — currently the oldest panda in the world. Also very famous among the inhabitants was the polar bear Knut, born in 2007, which became the first polar bear at Berlin Zoo in 30 years.
When you visit the zoo, you will not only have the opportunity to observe the lives of the animals, but also to see how the animals are fed and cared for. You also have the opportunity to get involved — for a small fee, zoo staff will help you feed the animals in the enclosures yourself.
Another pride of the zoo is the Zoo-Aquarium, which is located on three floors. There is a coral reef exhibit and around 250 different tanks with a total volume of 25,000 litres. Jellyfish, seahorses, exotic fish and other striking representatives of the underwater world are located in separate aquariums. Giant sharks, stingrays and Komodo varanas are the aquarium's "calling cards", being the most popular with tourists.
Berlin's zoo is one of the city's main attractions: around 2.6 million people visit it each year. It also often hosts festivals, PR events, and children's activities. The Berlin Zoo has an additional important mission besides the animal world. The scientific staff of the zoo are engaged in breeding and the zoo itself is constantly involved in programmes for the breeding and conservation of rare animal species.
You can get to Berlin Zoo with the underground trains U-2, U-9 and U-12 to "Zoologischer Garten" station, or U-1 and U-9 to "Kurfürstendamm". The city trains S5, S7, S3 and S9 to "Zoologischer Garten" station also take you to the zoo.
Address: Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin.
Official website: https://www.zoo-berlin.de/