Hellabrunn Zoological Gardens

Hellabrunn Zoo
The old elephant house was built in 1914
Date opened 1 August 1911[1]
Location Munich, Germany

48°5′50″N 11°33′15″E / 48.09722°N 11.55417°E / 48.09722; 11.55417Coordinates: 48°5′50″N 11°33′15″E / 48.09722°N 11.55417°E / 48.09722; 11.55417

Land area 36 ha (89 acres)[2]
Number of animals 17,811 (2010)[3]
Number of species 790 (2010)[3]
Annual visitors 1,570,938 (2010)[3]
Memberships EAZA,[4] WAZA[5]
Website www.tierpark-hellabrunn.de

Hellabrunn Zoo (or Tierpark Hellabrunn in German) is a 36-hectare (89-acre) zoological garden in the Bavarian capital of Munich. The zoo is situated on the right bank of the river Isar, in the southern part of Munich near the quarter of Thalkirchen. As the groundwater level here is rather high and the water is of very good quality, the zoo can cover its needs for freshwater by using its own wells.

A high ratio of enclosures are cageless, relying upon moat features to keep the animals in place. The zoo was the first zoo in the world not organized by species, but also by geographical aspects. For example the wood bisons share their enclosure with prairie dogs. In some places, the zoo has food dispensers where, for a small cost, the correct food for the species may be thrown by the public. This reduces the risk of animals being fed inappropriate foodstuffs.

In 2013, the zoo was ranked 4th best zoo in Europe (up from 12th).[6][7] It focuses on conservation and captive breeding rare species such as the rare drill and silvery gibbon monkeys. Also gorillas, giraffes, elephants, wood bisons, elk and arctic foxes were successfully bred in the zoo, which houses a large number of species.

Tierpark Hellabrunn is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).


On 25 February 1905 the Verein Zoologischer Garten München e.V. (Engl. Society of the Zoological Garden of Munich) was founded and the Hellabrunn area was chosen as the location for the zoo. The zoo was designed by architect Emanuel von Seidl, and opened to the public on 1 August 1911.[1]

In 1922, the zoo was closed due to the inflation in Germany. It was re-opened on May 23, 1928. It became the first Geo-Zoo in the world (animals were shown and kept with other animals of the same geographic region). It also engaged in controversial back-breeding to "recreate" extinct animals like Heck cattle (to mimic the Aurochs) and the Tarpan.[1]

During World War II, the zoo sustained extensive damage due to allied air raids, but it was able to reopen in May 1945.

In 1970, a badly needed plan for the renovation of the zoo was drawn up.

Hellabrunn today

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Henning Wiesner, Hellabrunn is among the most biologically diverse zoos in Europe. In 2010 it was home to 17,811 animals representing 709 species.[3]

The Tierpark Hellabrunn is very active in breeding, reintroduction and conservation projects.

Over 1.5 million people visited Hellabrunn in 2010.



External links

  • Tierparkfreunde (Friends of the Zoo)
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