For the visitor there is much to do when in Berlin but arguably one of the most frequently visited attractions is the Berlin Zoologischer Garten which has fascinated visitors ever since it opened its doors more than 150 years ago.
The Zoologischer Garten happens to be the most visited zoo in the whole of Europe and this is largely due to the fact that it presents the widest range of animal species in the entire world. It opened for business in 1844 and was constructed as a gift to the city by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. He actually provided the animals from his very own collection.
Initially the brainchild of Alexander von Humboldt and Heinrich Lichtenstein the zoo is situated in the southwest portion of the Tiergarten which is also the largest public park found in the middle of the city. The number of animals housed at the zoo increased rapidly after its inception and many thousands of different animals have called the zoo home over the years. During World War Two massive destruction took place to the zoo and as a result fewer than 100 animals remained.
Today visitors enter the Zoologischer Garten through either its Elephant or Lion Gates and there are now in excess of 15,000 animals that effectively represent more than 1,400 species on display. There are not many cages as most of the animals enjoy being able to roam freely in re-creations of their natural habitats which means that they are more contented.
Among the different species on offer are the Pandas and they are very popular with visitors especially when one reaches a significant birthday! The Birdhouse is also very popular and happens to be one of the most modern of its kind anywhere in Europe with more than five hundred different species of birds. Many of those represented are very rare making it an excellent opportunity for visitors to see birds they would not otherwise have the opportunity to see.
Knut, the polar bear cub, contributed to a significant rise in publicity both in Germany and indeed around the world. He was rejected by his mother and hand reared by one of the zookeepers. Unfortunately Knut has since passed on but the polar bears continue to attract attention and visitors to the zoo.
Of course the polar bears are not the only main attractions. They share that title with other animals such as the wolves, gorillas, pandas, seals, lions, giraffe, etc. A beautiful and technologically advanced aquarium sits adjacent to the zoo and tourists can purchase a combo ticket when they visit so that they can visit the zoo and the aquarium. There you will find more than just fish however as there are also insects, amphibians, and even reptiles to be seen.
For the children there is the kid’s zoo and here they can get up close and personal with different animals in the petting zoo as well as expound pent up energy in the playground.
For family vacations the Berlin Zoo is definitely something that should not be missed!