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Thank you Germany: Part 086: Zoos offer a nice day out in many cities


Germany has a zoo with a very special history in every major city. Not only native animals, but also dangerous predators and some exotic animals can be seen in the zoo. Visitors can usually see elephants, bears and many other animals. Some zoos also have greenhouses with orchids and special plants or a butterfly house. But even dangerous animals such as poisonous snakes or crocodiles can be observed at the zoo from a safe distance. Animals that you would never see in the wild in Germany can be observed and admired at the zoo. Many zoos also have a petting zoo for younger visitors.

Here, animals such as sheep or goats can be visited and stroked. Whereas zoos used to show as many animals as possible and housed them in what appeared to be a human design, zoos today are designed differently. Where animals used to live in small houses, today they are designed to be as close to nature as possible. Some zoos have therefore specialised in very specific animals. Many zoos have built special enclosures for them in which they are supposed to live as unimpressed as possible by human visitors. Thus, the self-image and design of zoos has changed considerably over the past decades. To this day, however, zoos in Germany attract many thousands of visitors throughout the year. Whether they are traditional foundations like the Wilhelma in Stuttgart or Hagenbeck’s Tierpark in Hamburg, or newer zoos like the one in Cologne – each has its own history and each is making a conscious effort to shape itself in the present. The transformation that many of these zoos have undergone in recent years is remarkable. It also represents the special awareness of animal conservation that people in Germany have today.

Whereas zoos used to be there only to exhibit animals, today they are particularly concerned about the conservation of endangered species. There is also a special way of imparting knowledge. Many children learn a great deal about the animals when they visit the zoo. The zoo awakens a curiosity for nature. So it is no coincidence that many schools take entire classes to the zoo. In primary school, a visit to the zoo is one of the most popular excursion destinations. It is popular with teachers. But kindergarten children also like to go to this beautiful place. In some cities, zoos are specifically promoted by the city. Zoos also ensure that visitors from other cities and countries come to the region.

Germany’s traditional zoos have brought the country many visitors from all over the world. Local residents of Germany can also be proud of the country’s zoos. They demonstrate both a long tradition and a current sense of responsibility for the conservation of species. In this way, zoos in Germany today make an important contribution to the conservation of flora and fauna around the world. Endangered species are even deliberately bred in zoos. And every newborn animal is a small sensation.

Last updated on 6. February 2023

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