Berlin Zoologischer Garten
As you will frequently find with Berlin, it has two of everything that most cities have one of. Zoos are no exception, and Berlin is the proud owner of both the Zoologischer Garten (Zoological Garden) and Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde (Animal Park Berlin-Friedrichsfelde). This anomaly isn't a penchant amongst Berliners for the superfluous, but a throwback from the Wall days when Berlin was forced to develop as two separate cities, with two sets of everything - one for the East and one for the West.
Berlin Zoologischer Garten in the West of the city is the oldest zoo in Germany, opening way back in 1844, after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV moved 850 animals from his royal collection to the new garden. Over the subsequent one and a half centuries or so the zoo has grown to be one of the largest in the world, housing some 15,000 animals of around 1,400 different species. It is also one of the most popular, attracting a whopping 3,300,000 visitors a year, which in part can be attributed to its handy location by Zoo Bahnhof, the train station to which it gives its name. Remember the song by U2 anybody?
Amongst the impressive collection of beasts you can count on seeing all the biggies, such as gorillas, hippos, lions and pandas as well as a large number of herd animals in recreated areas of savannah and Australian steppe. On either a separate or joint ticket you can also visit the Aquarium, which was built in 1913 as part of the Zoologischer Garten complex. In addition to its 250 fish tanks, the Aquarium houses a wide variety of amphibians and reptiles - including the magnificent Komodo dragon.
The Berlin Zoologischer Garten has been criticized in the past for being too cramped (only 74 acres), for the number of animals it holds, although in more recent times improvements have been made. It is open daily from 0900-1830 (1700 in winter) and entrance is 10 Euros, with discounts for all the usual suspects...
Dana from Poland Reply
The most impressive enclosures were for the sea lions and the hippos. It was wonderful to see the sea lions happily sun bathing, flipping, and splashing both above and under water. It was also remarkable to watch three hippos swim past underwater in the hippo house. There were a couple of not so nice features to this zoo in my opinion too. The biggest drawback to our visit was the crowds of people. I would rather visit a smaller zoo with fewer species of animals and avoid the crowds of people. (i.e. When I visited the gorilla enclosure all I could see were the backs of people. I also saw children trying to squeeze in to get a peek unsuccessfully and ending up in tears. In the nocturnal house, I was blocked in from all sides unable to move forward, backwards,or to the side--complete traffic jam. I also concur with the previous commenter about the elephants. I also saw an elephant rocking from side to side which is never what I want to see. However, I've visited many zoos and don't believe this problem is unique to Berlin. All zoos need to start moving elephants into larger elephant sanctuaries and out of zoos because zoos just don't have the necessary space to create a happy and healthy home for the largest land mammals. For more information about positive solutions with elephants read http://www.elephantvoices.org/ The other animal that was noticeably sick/ injured was the panda bear. He was very swollen on the back side and had sores. The panda seemed very tame even allowing the keeper to pet his nose as he ate a carrot and the keeper put food right in his mouth. It seemed a mutually kind relationship, but I never like to see any creature hurting or ill--even though this is also part of nature. I am fascinated with animals and can easily pass hours observing them live. I enjoy watching animal planet and the discovery channel, but there is something special about seeing these animals up close. I enjoy visiting zoos although I wish that zoos were larger or that animal sanctuaries were available for larger animals. Hopefully one day I will be able to afford a safari to see these creatures in their natural habitats.
liz eaves from United Kingdom Reply
the elephants and rhinos were going stir crazy, standing and rocking from side to side,no room at all and the young lions and another feline made me cry it was aweful to see!! something must be done to make their homes bigger, we went on 19.11.11 and really wished we had"nt, cost is now 13 euros each
Andrew from Malta Reply
there is a saying that goes; dont change a winning team. All I know is that someone came inbetween knut and Thomas's love, and look what happened. Dru
Lynette James from United Kingdom Reply
I just wanted to say that I am very sad about the death of poor Knut. He had such a short life. It must have been very difficult for him having been hand reared to then being expected to cope with life as a captive wild bear. I do hope that he is not put on display. He had that in life and should be given some dignity in death.
JoAnn from United States Reply
Poor, poor Knut. Such a short life, yet one that has been very important. Knut raised awareness regarding the struggles of polar bears and other animals too. I love polar bears, big, little, young, old. We humans have hurt them in so many ways. We owe to them and all the other animals to provide the best life for them, whether in the wild or especially in captivity. I really hope Knut will NOT be stuffed. A fitting memorial at the zoo - Knut's home - would be much more appropriate. God bless Knut and those who worked with him.
john booker from United Kingdom Reply
I also watched the video and i wish i hadn't. Ive seen a couple of vids when he was sharing an enclosure with the 3 females and to me he looks scared and alone. Im happy he was saved as a cub but it wasn't his fault he lived his first year like a household pet then he was forced to be polar bear. He deserved better in the end.
tbear from United Kingdom Reply
Im totally heart broken about the death of Knut i love polar bears so much and he ment so much to me and im very sad that he is no longer with us, i was very shocked about footage ive seen on youtube (that i wish i had not seen) and im very concerned about how the Natural History Museum and Berlin zoo would allow this bear to be put on display this mejestic bear is NOT a commodity and should rest in peace, i understand preservation and history but im disgusted that you would even think of such a thing ?
Susan Iaccarino from United States Reply
I was so very saddened at the death of Knut, however, I am now really distressed that he is going to be stuffed. What is the point other than monetary gain from exhibiting him as an attraction at the Natural History Museum. He did enough for your zoo. I think he deserved some dignity in death by having a proper burial at the zoo or, preferably, elsewhere.
Melissa Weisz from United States Reply
My heart is broken for the world's loss of Knut...no words can describe what I feel at this moment.
Ms. Lanigan and my Third Grade Class from Germany Reply
I am a teacher of 20 third grade students in Grafenwher, Germany. We studied all about Knut and polar bears for a project. We dressed as Knut, the famous polar bear, for our school Fasching Parade, on March 4. When we heard the news of Knut's death, we were very sad. Each of my students have written a card, and we would like to send the cards and picture of us dressed as Knut. Where can we send this? We are VERY SADDENED about your loss!!!
nadija from Australia Reply
i am enraged that such a beautiful animal had to withstand humanity capricious curiosity, and yet, the beaut bear did make millions of euros for you and you did not take good care of him, how, can you now mourn, don't u feel guilty of being so so cruel? I wish for a day to put you all in the same situation that Knut was put in, first adored then abandoned when you humans will learn wild animals should be in the wild, humanity should be in cages you do deserve it!!!
Danielle from United States Reply
So sad about Knut...Please let us know what happened to him.
cherry from Australia Reply
So sorry of to hear of your loss I HAVE NOTICED THAT BEFORE HE DIED HE DID DO EXACTLEY WHAT MY CAT DID BEFORE HE DIED AND THEY FOUND HE DIED OF A SIEZURE IT DEFIENTLY LOOKS NEUROLOGICAL
Katrina from Australia Reply
Just watching the footage of Knut's death brought tears to my eyes...from the footage, it looks like he had a neurological breakdown. From that footage, it looked like it was a seizure of some kind, perhaps from epilepsy and drowned. But still very sad to have seen that.
Lorri Roden from Australia Reply
Thanks for bringing so much love and laughter to our lives. I am praying that your captivity did not lead to your death.
from United Kingdom Reply
So soory to hear that Knut has died. He will be missed
catherine davids from United States Reply
Knut and his keepers at the Berlin Zoo inspired me to follow his progress from birth until his tragic death. I made friends with other Knut Aunties around the world. I just thank the Berlin zoo for saving Knut, for Thomas' dedication - the joy they brought to all has been priceless and appreciated. God Bless the people at the Berlin Zoo especially.
Tara & Katrina from Canada Reply
So terribly sorry to read of Knut's passing. We can only hope that Knut and his keeper Thomas are together in a better place where he can eat all the croissants and seal meat he wants.
Gigi Middlebrook from United States Reply
I cried when I heard the news. I almost think that Knut died of a broken heart. How sad for those that knew and worked with him. I hope that the zoo will make sure that Knut is not forgotten for he was the most special of Polar Bears. Knut will live on through his adorable photos and videos. Now he and his master are back together where they first started 4 years ago. Knut I will miss you.
Donna Powell from United States Reply
My sincere condolences to the staff of your zoo, especially those who were the caregivers to Knut. Knut, R.I.P.
nalek from Thailand Reply
we're panda lover in Thailand who know the story of "Knut" as other animal-lover around the world.may we use this moment share our sympathy with all of you. RIP.
Justin from United States Reply
I absolutely loved the zoo in Berlin. It was amazing to see how many different animals they have and it is very well kept up. Loved it!
Greta Sykes from United Kingdom Reply
I found the zoo a very inspiring experience, especially as I witnessed some of the animals showing that they were happy. However, more needs to be done to give the wild cats more appropriate space and entertainment, with many thanks, Greta Sykes
anna cavicchioli from Australia Reply
why do you keep knut with 3 female bears? it is against nature. Shame on you
susan and noel from United Kingdom Reply
hi we visited the zoo in sept it was a lovely place and i met a gorilla which was pulling tongues at me never have i seen this before really made my day thank x
Mark B from United Kingdom Reply
This zoo is one of the best in the world!
Sherry L. Smith from United States Reply
I have just read SPIEGEL and sorry to hear that KNUT has a sore paw! I love KNUT and trust you are taking care of him. I also read Thomas Dorflein said KNUT is play acting. Is that Dr. Thomas Dorflein? I'm glad KNUT is a bear and not a human child. A little compassion goes a long way! The more interviews I read on Mr. Dorflein, the more I'm convinced he should not be allowed to speak in public. Let's see.... he is annoyed when people offer to buy him a drink. He gets angry that people want to shake his hand or put an arm around him for a hug? He deserserves a medal for being a GRUMP! God Bless KNUT! God Bless Berlin Zoo! God Bless Germany!
Renee Nielsen from United States Reply
People (Peta) need to leave Mr. Doerflein and Knut alone! This very loving man with a heart for the most beautiful animals on the planet has giving this most wonderful gift to an animal that was pushed aside by its on mother. How can these people who have a problem with this complain? They must have nothing else in their lives to do except to complain about the love that is giving one of GOD's most magnificent creatures. Don't blame Knut for the love he receives from a man that has so much to give. You people really need to get a life. Instead of complaining and trying to kill something God has givin us. Thank God for the heart of the man that has giving it with his whole heart. Something you people lack in so very much. Thank You Thomas for giving me this chance to see a wonderful heart in Knut, to grow and love. He is a wonderful creature of God and is NOT meant to die by the hands of people who say they are for the animals. Thank You Thomas Renee
Lady_V from United Kingdom Reply
What was the point in saving Knut in the first place if you're only going to kill him now he's not quite so cute. I say allow him to live and, yes, he may be a little bit more friendly towards humans than 'wild' bears but given the power of polar bears isn't that a good thing?
Bob from United States Reply
animals should be free
Bernard W. Goering from United States Reply
Please tell me how I can get a stuffed teddy like knut? Kindest regards, Bernard
anthony gilardi from United States Reply
I VOTE FOR KNUT . WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CREATURE.A REAL BENEFACTOR TO THE Z0O .
Annmarie Ryan from United States Reply
The Animals need us more now than ever. Humans are not the only kind put on this EARTH. I think that KNUT should live and always be taken care of... He is in a ZOO, that is What is done at ZOO's! GOD BLESS, ZOO KEEPERS, and Zoo olygists and The people who LOVE Animals.... Thank you for giving this little guy a chance...
Carolan from Australia Reply
Thank God for common sense. Little Knut lives on. Can anyone tell me how to view the web cam they have set up. Our animals deserve respect and this poor baby will be much loved.
Felicite Gunther from Australia Reply
I really admire the zoo and particularly the wonderful keeper who is looking after this beautiful little cub. He deserves a life and he is lucky to have someone who loves him and has made the commitment to care for him. God bless them both.
Glenda Rose from United States Reply
To the Berlin Zoo staff, I think it wonderful what you are doing with the aminals at your Zoo and thank you saving this wonderful creation of life. This world is so cruel to animals. I hope keep us informed on his progess. Keep up the good work.
Steve Plows from United Kingdom Reply
What the hell is this sick planet coming to when the deranged rantings of a gang of yobs declaring they want a Polar bear cub put down is even listened to. Well done Berlin Zoo for taking this suggestion for what it is, utter rubbish. If the 'conservation' brigade require blood ... let it be there own.
grrrrr.... from United States Reply
Frank Albrecht is the devil.
Hans Brinkhuis from United States Reply
To the Berlin Zoo, I also diagree to put that little polar bear to sleep ,I rather put that activist to sleep that guy is not human I belief animals are better than Humans we can learn a lot more from animals than humans.So they can grow this little bear and enjoy him for a long time at the zoo and let him play with the kids he would love that. Regards Hans
Carine from United Kingdom Reply
I completely disagree with the "animal activist" wanting Knut to be put down. Polar bears are an endangered species as global warming is causing their habitat and food supplies to dwindle. In addition, there are people organising hunting trips for rich businessmen to shoot polar bears and that is perfectly legal. If the animal activists who want Knut to be put down are so keen on conservation, maybe they should confront those who shoot bears for fun. We are destroying those animals and their natural habitats and the least we can do to redeem ourselves is to help one of them by bringing it up in a safe environment where it will be fed regularly and well looked after all his life. Better that than starving or shot dead in the Artic...
DAVID GHOSH from India Reply
It is a stupid idea of an anmal activis Frank Albrecht in Germany and I think his idea to put to dearh the little and lovely baby polar bear "KNUT". I believe his bad idea is not only madness but cruel indeed. KNUT was born in zoo, though his wild mother was rejected him, it is quite natural in nature, but KNUT desurve lovely touch of human and protection too. Definitely not death. I think, Mr. Frank Albrecht may kill his won children, if his honey reject the child at his home, such a mad guy should be removed from any amazing Institution.Finally, I should convey my heartfelt thanks to the Children and right people of Germany and the brave man and activist of animal protection group "German Federation for the protection of Animals" Mr. Wolfgang Apel. I congratulate the German Zoo peple and all its staffs. I convey my lovely love to KNUT. He should be alive and grow. Thanks David
Bill Fairer from United States Reply
Keep Knut alive!
www.lifecircus.com from United States Reply
The right decision was made to keep the baby polar bear alive. Those who say they are animal activist and wanted this animal dead ,should not consider themselfs animal activist. As soon as man was here on this earth we started to interfere with the animals ,there for it is up to us to take care of all animals. We help animals you can too!
Mia from United States Reply
I honestly can't believe that the vet who was compassionate enough to save a life, would be cruel enough to take the life of the baby polar cub....I have faith that he will not allow harm to come to the baby. He has my support in the decision to save an endangered species in order for future generations to know that some people did think about more than themselves!
cdsuyer from United States Reply
I could understand the animal rights idiots / activists (interchangeable in this case I think) point of view IF the cub had been born in the wild. BUT, the cub was born in captivity so the laws of the jungle, so to speak, do not apply
Brenda from United States Reply
How can anyone want to kill something after it was saved from death. All life is important, and no person has the right to kill.
Debbie from United Kingdom Reply
how ccould it be suggested that Knut should be put down, how terrible, well done on your stance on this matter, keep him safe, he is beautiful
Peter Egan from Australia Reply
What are the animal rights campaigners thinking. Is Knut destined to an Arctic life when mature? No! He will live a long, and healthy life at his real home, Berlin Zoo. Bravo to you Thomas Doerflein for standing your ground.
Hans-Peter Dziendziel Rast from United States Reply
I was born in Schwerin many years ago. As a German, I applaud your stand on Knut. He deserves to live as much as I do. We're both pretty cute.
Tom McDonald from United States Reply
I understand the "let nature take its course" opinion, but isn't it antiquated? I believe humans have done enough damage to this beautiful blue planet to give a green light to preserving life wherever and whenever we can, even desensitized naturalists.
Ginger from United States Reply
THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! FOR SAVING THIS BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL. STAND FIRM. IF THESE ANIMAL RIGHTS PEOPLE LOVE ANIMALS MAYBE THEY SHOULD RETHINK WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT THEM LIFE OR DEATH! PROTECT THE ANIMALS THAT ARE ABUSED, NOT THE ONES LIKE THIS ONE THAT HASNT HURT ANYONE OR ANYTHING AND HAS MANY YEARS TO LIVE A GREAT LIFE, AND MAKE US ADULTS AND CHILDREN SMILE. MAY GOD FORGIVE THE ONES WHO WANT TO KILL FOR NO REASON.
Pete from United Kingdom Reply
I read with disgust that 'animal rights' activists want Knut destroyed, keep that beautiful bear alive and damn those idiots... such an endangered animal deserves to live, wherever that may be..
Edward Roop from United States Reply
I am thankful to the Berlin Zoo for making the effort to save the polar bear cub. I have read the uproar by animal rights activists, and would offer another thought. Who?s to say the mother wasn?t the biological aberration by neglecting her offspring and BOTH cubs should have been saved? As rare as these bears are, it disturbs me to think about terminating a perfectly viable life.
Ross Karbarski from United States Reply
I applaud all of you who are standing firm on allowing this beautiful animal to gorw up and live a long and fruitful life. Eforts like this are what help to ensure that our childrens children have the ability to see these animals in more ways than just in books and pictures.
Gemma Quinn from United Kingdom Reply
please dont killed ickle knut hes great? what right do we have to take the life of the cub! i understand its not natural to help,but the cub will prob not see outside the park anyway!!!!! i love this little guy!!!!!!11111111
Mark from United Kingdom Reply
Thanks to Berlin Zoo for standing firm and ensuring that this beautiful animal can enjoy life.
Erik from United States Reply
My Goodness, who do you think you are, deciding on what animal gets killed and which ones are able to live. It is not your job to be playing God. This Polar Bear is perfect and beautiful, there is nothing wrong with it. Remember, we took these bears out of their habitat to protect them, not to decide who lives and dies. We can learn so much by raising this bear on our own for further studies and even better protection. You need to stop and think, because at the present time, you are not. It's our job to protect. May God have mercy on the soul who even thought of this atrocity. THE UNITED STATES LOVES KNUT, SAVE KNUT!!! SAVE KNUT!!!! SAVE KNUT!!!
Osi from United States Reply
I would like to say that this is barbaric and should be stopped. How could you justify killing a cub that has been abandoned by its mother. If it was in the wild let nature take its course but you have them in your zoo in captivity. They are precious animals of GOD who are now endangered by our environmental destruction and you want to kill off a perfectly healthy animal who could later breed more bears. I hope you don't kill him. Do you kill an abandoned baby found in a dumpster, no you raise it and nurture it to offer it a future. Animals are no different. Please don't kill Knut he has a chance of going on to live a healthy happy life, don't cut it for you own insane logic. Save the POLAR BEARS!!!!
from Denmark Reply
I would like to say that I am seriously hoping that you will spare the life of knut. I see absolutely no reason why her life should be taken away. She brings such life and happiness to those who come and visit her and to those who take care of her. Just seeing her picture on the computer and how happy she looks, made me smile and brightened my day. I just think it would be an absolute shame as well as extremely wrong and cruel to kill her.
Sharon from United States Reply
Bravo for saving the life of Knut! In a world where polar bears are endangered, how can anyone think of putting this one down? He deserves a long, healthy, happy life. Bravo! Great decision!
Shannon from United States Reply
I am proud of the veternarian who stood up for the polar bear! Animal Rights groups should focus on the animals people are harming via: shooting, abusing, neglecting and leave alone the doctor who is more experienced in caring for this bear.
Toska Quinnies from United States Reply
gestern habe ich einen Artikel in dem Magazine "in Touch dated 2/12/07" gelesen ueber den - polar bear - der nach 30 Jahren in dem Berliner Zoo gebohren ist. Ich komme von Berlin, Mein Bruder ebenfalls ebenfalls in Berlin/Schoeneberg gebohren heisst Knut Apitz und meine Mutter war Toska Apitz. Sagen wir das das ein zufall ist? Bitte schreiben Sie zurrueck... mein Bruder ist auch in den Staaten und seine e-mail adresse ist - firstname.lastname@example.org. Toska Quinnies geb. Apitz