Berlin zoo is one of those places that can fascinate many people, before they even get there. With over 17000 animals of over 1500 species, 3 million visitors a year and a badge of the most visited zoo in Europe as well as a total area of over 84 acres, it comes as no surprise.
Berlin Zoo – the HistoryBut the Berlin Zoo is not only the numbers, the most fascinating thing is its history. Set up in 1844 it was the very first Zoo in the present day Germany. It was extended in 1913 with a large aquarium. But, during the WWII the Berlin Zoo was completely destroyed and only 91 of nearly 4000 animals had survived.
By the end of the war the zoo became a centre of anti-russian resistance. Bunkers, anti aircraft weapons, fortifications and watchtowers were built on it’s area and was a witness to some heavy fire. However, after the war the Berlin zoo was not only rebuilt. Out of the 91 animals (including a hippo bull, baboons, chimpanzee, lions and few others) the zoo managed to breed more and more, including some rare species. It was one of the greatest achievements in that field at the time.
One of the key decisions made when the Berlin Zoo was being rebuilt was to recreate the animal enclosures to be as close to their natural habitat. This one thing alone contributed greatly to the Zoo’s successes in breeding animals.
Today the Berlin Zoo runs a breeding program for many endangered species and supports cultivationinsts in various parts of the world.
Berlin AquariumThe Aquarium is an addition to the original zoo, opened in 1913. It is famous in the World for it’s biodiversity. The aquarium can be visited separately or as part of the Berlin Zoo tour.
The Aquarium presents over 9000 animals, from tropical fishes to crocodiles, insects and reptiles.
The Animals of the Berlin ZooSome of the most famous animals in the Berlin Zoo include a polar bear named Knut. Rejected by his mother at birth he was raised by the zookeepers.
A giant panda Bao Bao is the oldest Panda in any zoo.
Photo credit: EnglishGirlAbroad