The Beautiful Berlin Zoological Gardens is not only the best known and oldest in Germany, but is the Europe’s 9th zoo to open and Europe’s most visited. Its elegant elephant gates opened in 1844, covering 84 acres. Consisting of a zoo and aquarium, in 2010 alone the zoo received almost 3 million visitors.
Why so popular?
With over 1, 500 different species and approximately 17,000 animals this zoo offers the most comprehensive collection of species in the world. Ranging from sea lions to primates, fur seals, king penguins, wolves, brown bears, exotic birds, lions, kangaroos, elephants, tigers and hippos the list really is an endless supply of fun reasons to visit the zoo and animals capture on camera.
The zoo also consists of two well known favourites, Knut the exotic polar bear and Bao Bao the Giant Panda – both exciting and rare captive species that never fail to attract large flocks of tourists.
With increasing population, Berlin Zoo has become a superb venue for weddings, providing out of the ordinary memories of marriage with their beautifully unusual environments. The glorious hippopotamus house is one of the worlds most modern animal houses, decorated with an enormous glass dome roof. Exchanging rings under moving clouds and sun rays, surrounded by luxurious vegetation, waterfalls and exotic bright birds, really does sound like a romantic scene for nature lovers.
Why is Berlin Zoo so important?
Berlin Zoo participates in the European breeding programme, a dedicated mission aimed at safeguarding valuble DNA of endangered species. By encouraging healthy offspring from vulnerable species like the panda and polar bear, these can be used to protect a captive gene pool, alongside with the chances of re-introduction in to the wild. With the help of conservation projects researching and removing threats in the wild, these captive members may be crucial to future conservation plans of restoring wild populations.
Collaborating with many research institutes, universities and other zoos from around the world, the zoo provides many opportunities for research studies of improving enrichment, care, husbandry and nutrition towards exotic captive species.
A most recent in-situ project by Berlin zoo involves nature preservation in Madagascar. During 1995, Berlin undersigned a partnership agreement with Tsimbazaza Zoo, Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. A joint scientific project attempts to research the biology of small mammals to optimise the conditions for captive housing and husbandry. In 1996 the first ring-tailed mongooses were imported into the zoo, followed by the first pair of narrow-striped mongooses in 1997. So far, both species have bred successfully several times in Berlin zoo, with the narrow-striped mongoose offspring contributing their genes to the declining wild population when returned back to Madagascar. It’s very intriguing to see what’s next in store from Berlin zoo.
During 1913 Berlin Zoo’s pinnacle was succesffuly reached during the opening of their great aquarium. Three storeys high and loaded with fresh and saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians and a large number of invertebrates was an exciting treat for the public. The carefully thought out mosaic ornamenting designed to provide a dinosaur era feeling, encouraged a great success to the first indoor walk-in animal enclosure.
Wow! Weddings, aquarium visits, the largest carnivorous mammal on earth, exotic birds, beautiful surroundings, important conservation actions, unique architecture, an elegant entrance and most impressively, the largest diverse collection of species ever established in a zoo, Berlin Zoo certainly guarantees euros well spent!
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