18 July 2008

Tierpark Berlin

If people go to the zoo in Berlin, most will head for the Berlin Zoo in the middle of the city and home to Knut: the most famous polar bear in the world.

Yesterday, we took J's boys to Tierpark Berlin - a zoopark located in what was East Berlin before the wall came down.

It was awesome. As the biggest zoological zoopark in Europe standing on 160 hectares, it would take at least 2 days to walk around and to see all the animals on display. We walked our feet off for 6 hours and still didn't get to see everything.

Less crowded than the Berlin Zoo, the expansive park surroundings also contribute to the feeling that there are fewer people visiting the zoo than there actually are within the grounds. The only times that we ran into crowds were during the big cats' feeding time and in the reptile house - the latter because it started to rain and everyone headed indoors.

One thing that stood out for me, of which I'm in total awe, was the number of animals who had young babies at their heels. The zoo must have one of the most successful breeding programs in the world and I'm sure that a major contributing factor is the relaxed and calm nature of the zoo, as well as the peaceful surroundings of the park.

We saw baby black bears, elephants, oxen, antelope, rhinoceros, giraffes, tigers, black panthers, leopards, wolves, flamingos and lynx - just to name a few.

Staring Showdown

Pelican

Meeting with a Porcupine

Heading to the gate for lunch

The Giraffe enclosure

Green Mamba - although it looked yellow to us

Lemur - you got to move it, move it!

Black bear cubs

Black Mambas - they looked grey

The animals were alert and interacted with the human visitors more than I've seen in other zoos. The Tierpark must have one of the largest exhibition of birds of prey - I saw so many different eagles that I didn't even know existed.

If you ever get to Berlin, take time to go to the Tierpark Berlin. From Alexanderplatz station, you can take the U-Bahn U5 line and get off at the Tierpark station which exits right outside the entrance gate. Entry is Eu11.00 per adult and Eu5.50 per child under 16, or a family daypass for 2 adults and 2 kids is Eu29.00.

Don't forget to take some bottled water with you. There are cafeterias dotted around the grounds, but some of the walks in between them can be quite long and dry. We also found that a lot of families opted to bring food with them and it was great to see them stretched out on blankets under the trees, enjoying the shade as they broke out their picnic lunches.

Oh, and if you have a dog, you can take them in for free provided that they are on a short leash. I thought that it was wonderful to see the dogs interacting with the other animals, although there were a few worried expressions on some of them when confronted with the tigers which were about 20x bigger. I could almost hear them having second thoughts about ever again chasing the neighbourhood cats - just in case one of these bigger cats was lurking around the corner, lying in wait!

The boys about to be eaten by a sabre-tooth tiger!

We had a great day out and the kids behaved really well which made it an even better experience!

9 comments:

MamaDuck said...

More great pics: you never stop, do you!

Keefieboy said...

Flippineck. MamaDuck's been on my machine: the last 2 comments were from me, not her.

Omar said...

I hate seeing animals in zoos. But then, the way some animals are endangered and rare now, the only place to see them is in zoos.

The pictures are truly great!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

What fabulous photographs - the other post about the reef also. I am double-minded about zoos, but if the animals are really cared for, then okay, and of course kids needs to see them. My favourite is always the tiger.
w.

GO! Smell the flowers said...

Looks like your having a flower smelling time and it looks way better than Dubai Zoo!

We're in Scotland at the moment having been to Canada, Cuba, Holland and Paris....6 more months out on our travels!

Back to Doo-bye in October...drop by anytime and keep on keeping on...

Cheers!

Jim, Em and the gang...
www.gosmelltheflowers.com

moryarti said...

NICE!!!!!

Ok, now i want to take the little one there.

nzm said...

Keefie: Just as well you cleared that up - I was about to berate MamaDuck for her "lazy blogger" comment, seeing as her blog hasn't been updated for a while!

Omar: I feel the same way about animals in zoos - especially the birds who are put into cages that are far too small to allow them to fly. However, so many animals are under threat in their natural environments from human activity.

For example, even in a dedicated tiger reserve in Rajasthan, India, 6 tigers went "missing" - never to be seen again. When a tiger is worth US$20k on the black market and some poor Indian farmer/poacher is offered maybe US$1000 to capture/kill it, who's going to win? Certainly not the tiger.

Therefore good zoos with successful breeding programs are much needed to ensure the continuation of some species.

I would consider Tierpark Berlin to be a great zoo, given the number of baby animals and the happy animals that we saw. Whenever the keepers and animals interacted, there was a lot of affection shown on both sides - it was a good thing to see.

Wendy: the tigers at this zoo were magnificent and HUGE. We also got to see a baby tiger cub being photographed by the local press - very cute!

Jim: sounds like you guys are having fun too!

Mory: Oh yeah, Lulu would love it! I've heard a rumour about you and the Mrs may be expecting another little one of your own? Is it true?

Grumpy Goat said...

Great photos in this and the preceding post. Is there an emoticon for envy?

And now I'll go back to lurking...

nzm said...

Thanks Grumpy - I was hoping that you or Mme Cyn could tell me what those funny little things are in my Great Barrier Reef post!