Did you know Germany has over 400 zoos? 414 zoos to be exact. That’s more zoos than the entire United States! Here’s a sneak peak into the oldest and largest zoo in all of Germany, the Berlin Zoolischer Garten.
You might also like to know that it’s not only the largest zoo in all of Germany, but the largest collection of zoo animals in the entire world. Notice I didn’t say largest zoo in the world, because it’s second in physical size only to Nebraska’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, which features 17,000 animals of more than 950 different species across 130 acres of land.
The Berlin Zoo on the other hand has 19,500 different animals and 1,500 different species across 84 acres of land. So it has more animals than any other zoo, it’s just a little smaller than the one in Nebraska.
Many people still consider it to be the world’s largest zoo since it houses the most animals of any zoo in the world.
With so many animals it’s no wonder the Berlin Zoo is one of Europe’s most visited zoos and one of the most popular worldwide. Between the zoo and the aquarium there’s an average of 3 million visitors per year to this world wide attraction.
One of the biggest and most popular attractions at the zoo is their regular animal feedings where visitors get to watch bears, lions and many other animals as they eat their daily meals.
Nationally famous and considered world wide celebrities animals like Knut the polar bear and Bao Bao the giant panda are a major part of the Berlin Zoo’s world wide image.
Knut was easily one of the biggest zoo stars the world has ever seen. Knut was a polar bear born in captivity on December 5th 2006 at the Berlin Zoo. Rejected by his mother at birth, zookeepers took on raising Knut and his story went viral, creating a world wide news frenzy. Besides increasing the zoos revenue to it’s record year of all time, at 5 million visitors in 2007, Knut has been immortalized in countless ways from stuffed animals to gummy bears, dvds, songs and more. Knut tragically died on March 19th, 2011 in his exhibit after unexpectedly collapsing from what was classified as brain damage.
Knut wasn’t just a cute and cuddly polar bear raised by Berlin zookeepers. Knut’s life was filled with controversy when an animal rights activist said in a German newspaper that Knut never should have been raised by humans, but left to die. Kinda strange that a human rights activist would prefer to see an animal die instead of live it’s life isn’t it? In response, children and adults alike would picket outside the zoo in favor of Knut, and the story got even bigger.
Get a glimpse of the life of Knut the Polar Bear in this memorial video.
During World War II the entire zoo was demolished and less than 100 of the 3,500 animals survived the event. At the end of the war it was decided the zoo would be rebuilt with the latest technologies available to recreate the zoo as the most realistic impression of what it’s really like for the zoo inhabitants in the wild.
The Zoolischer Garten Zoo is an amazing zoo that provides a memorable experience for tourists young and old from all walks of life. So next time you’re in the Berlin area, be sure to swing by and make a day of it!
You can learn more about this amazing zoo by visiting their official website.