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Europe's Top 100 Zoos and Aquariums?

Discussion in 'Europe - General' started by amur leopard, 24 Dec 2019.

  1. Penshet

    Penshet Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned Karlsruhe - visited in 2017. While it's definitely not a top 10 zoo for most people, I think it's better than Duisburg at least.
     
  2. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I overlooked Karlsruhe initially but did make a point that Duisburg was probably only a worthy inclusion whilst Baby was still around.
     
  3. Philipine eagle

    Philipine eagle Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so. And not only because of the dolphin, but Duisburg has a world class spectacled bear enclosure, an interesting Australian and primate collection, some other good enclosures and in general a far better collection.

    Karlsruhe, although a good zoo, has nothing spectacular imo (Persian goitered gazelle as exception). To be honest, I haven't seen the 2015 Exotenhaus.
     
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  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The latter held in some of the worst exhibits in a major European zoo, however!
     
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  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    And now I think I've settled on my final thirteen...

    Germany
    Karlsruhe
    Heidelberg
    Dresden
    Dortmund

    UK
    Slimbridge
    Paignton
    Woburn
    Hamerton

    France
    CERZA

    The Neterlands
    Beekse Bergen

    Czechia
    Jihlava

    Switzerland
    Aquatis Lausanne
     
  6. Arek

    Arek Well-Known Member

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    It’s my list of 100 zoos (I didn't see all of them personally). Aquariums are in italics.

    Poland

    Wrocław - Ogród Zoologiczny

    Warszawa - Ogród Zoologiczny

    Opole - Ogród Zoologiczny

    Czechia

    Praha - Zoologická zahrada

    Dvůr Kralove nad Labem - Safari Zoo

    Plzeň - Zoologická a Botanická Zahrada

    Hluboká nad Vltavou - Jihočeská Zoologická Zahrada

    Ostrava - Zoologická Zahrada

    Zlín-Lešná - Zoo a Zámek

    Jihlava - Zoologická Zahrada

    Hungary

    Budapest - Állat- és Növénykert

    Nyiregyhaza - Állatpark-Sóstó Zoo

    Austria

    Wien - Tiergarten Schönbrunn

    Wien - Haus des Meeres-Aqua Terra Zoo

    Innsbruck - Alpenzoo

    Salzburg - Tiergarten Hellbrunn

    Switzerland

    Basel - Zoologischer Garten

    Zürich - Zoologischer Garten

    Bern - Tierpark Dählhölzli

    Germany

    Berlin-Friedrichsfelde - Tierpark

    Berlin - Zoologischer Garten

    Rostock - Zoologischer Garten

    Stralsund - Ozeaneum

    Hamburg - Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark

    Hannover - Erlebnis Zoo

    Walsrode – Weltvogelpark

    Osnabrück - Zoologischer Garten

    Springe - Wisentgehege

    Halle - Zoologischer Garten

    Leipzig - Zoologischer Garten

    Dresden - Zoologischer Garten

    Erfurt - Thüringer Zoopark

    Frankfurt am Main - Zoologischer Garten

    Duisburg - Zoologischer Garten

    Köln - Zoologischer Garten und Aquarium

    Wuppertal - Zoologischer Garten

    Krefeld - Zoologischer Garten

    Gelsenkirchen - Zoom Erlebniswelt

    Düsseldorf - Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum

    Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt - Wilhelma Zoologisch-botanischen Garten

    Heidelberg - Tiergarten

    Karlsruhe - Zoologischer Stadtgarten

    München - Tierpark Hellabrunn

    Nürnberg - Tiergarten

    Augsburg - Zoologischer Garten

    Denmark

    København-Frederiksberg - Zoologisk Have

    København-Kastrup - Dēn Blå Planet

    Sweden

    Kolmården - Djurpark

    Hunnebostrand - Nordens Ark

    Finland

    Helsinki - Korkeasaari

    Netherlands

    Amsterdam - Artis Zoo

    Rotterdam - Koninklijke Diergaarde Blijdorp

    Amersfoort - Dierenpark

    Rhenen - Ouwehands Dierenpark

    Alphen aan den Rijn - Vogelpark Avifauna

    Beekse Bergen - Safaripark

    Kerkrade - GaiaPark

    Arnhem - Koninklijke Burgers’ Zoo

    Apeldoorn - Apenheul

    Belgium

    Antwerpen - Dierentuin

    Mechelen-Muizen - Dierenpark Planckendael

    Cambron-Casteau - Pairi Daiza

    United Kingdom

    London - ZSL Zoological Gardens

    Whipsnade - ZSL Zoological Gardens

    Hamerton - Zoological Park

    Colchester - Zoological Gardens

    Burford - Cotswold Wild Life Park and Gardens

    Bristol-Clifton - Zoological Gardens

    Slimbridge - Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre

    Colden Common - Marwell Zoological Park

    Paignton - Zoo Environmental Park

    Twycross - Zoo Park

    Chester - Zoological Gardens

    Hull - The Deep

    Edinburgh - Scottish National Zoological Park

    Kingussie - Highland Wildlife Park

    Belfast - Zoological Gardens

    Les Augres Manor - Jersey Zoological Park

    Ireland

    Dublin - Zoological Gardens

    France

    Mulhouse - Parc Zoologique et Botanique

    Amneville - Parc Zoologique

    Besançon - Citadelle

    Paris-Vincennes - Parc Zoologique

    Paris - Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes

    Saint Aignan - ZooParc de Beauval

    Boulogne sur Mer - Nausicaá Centre National de la Mer

    Hermival les Vaux - Cerza-Parc Zoologique Lisieux

    Brest - Oceanopolis

    Les Maties - Zoo de La Palmyre

    Spain

    Cabárceno - Parque de la Naturaleza

    Valencia - L’Oceanografic

    Valencia - Bioparc

    Puerto de la Cruz - Loro Parque

    Portugal

    Lisboa - Oceanario

    Italy

    Bussolengo-Pastrengo - Parco Natura Viva

    Genova - Acquario

    Greece

    Spata - Attiko Zoologiko Parko

    Latvia

    Riga - Nacionalais Zoologiskais Darzs

    Estonia

    Tallinn - Loomaaed

    Russia

    Moskwa - Zoołogiczeskij Park


    It is interesting that there are many more zoos in northern Europe and they are generally much better than in the south, but in aquariums southern Europe is at the forefront.

    And I have crazy idea to replace one of the aquariums by chain of Sea Life. There are 30 Sea Life Centres in whole Europe. They all together have more water in their tanks than any other aquarium and have more visitors than any zoo.
     
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  7. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Not really directly related to the subject of this thread, but it's perhaps worth noting that there's a handful of ways of judging "largest aquarium" and in this case it appears to be based on area. In two other frequently used measures, number of tanks and total water volume, Aquarium River of Zaragoza is the largest freshwater in Europe. Size isn't everything, but I've only visited Zaragoza (Lausanne soon, I hope) and consequently can't say which is better.
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    And (although not a dedicated aquarium) I reckon the aquarium complex at Alpenzoo has a damn good chance of being the best freshwater aquarium in a European zoo hands-down ;)
     
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  9. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There are now 7 lists on this thread, which is a useful number to reveal a certain level of consistency with the choices being presented. I would encourage others to take a stab of coming up with their own possibilities for a Top 100 as it's a fun thing to do and 'the more the merrier'.

    A trio of things that I've been pondering:

    1- I think that for a travel writer, a book about Europe's Best Zoos would need to have a certain degree of geographical representation. That would open the door for lesser-known zoos to make the cut based on the fact that they are the #1 major zoo in a particular nation. Examples of this would be:

    Croatia - Zagreb Zoo
    Estonia - Tallinn Zoo
    Finland - Helsinki Zoo
    Greece - Attica Zoo
    Latvia - Riga Zoo
    Norway - Kristiansand Zoo
    Slovakia – Either Bojnice Zoo or Bratislava Zoo

    All 8 of those zoos, in 7 different nations, have popped up at least once each on this thread, but whether any of those establishments are truly amidst the very best zoos in Europe is a question that I'm ill-suited to answer as I've yet to visit them. In terms of geographical representation they'd be strong contenders, but in all honesty the 20th best German zoo could perhaps be a stronger candidate than any of them. I think that a book written for zoo nerds might not contain a single one of those 8 zoos, or only have one or two selections at most. If someone wants to write about the absolute best, then geographical positioning needs to be tossed out the window. If there are 25 zoos from Germany and 0 from Latvia then that's just how things roll.

    For instance, in the list provided by @sooty mangabey , he had 64% of his choices from only 4 countries! Germany, France, England and Czechia accounted for 47 out of the 73 zoos listed. He didn't have space for any zoo from Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Norway or Slovakia.

    2- What could be viewed as an automatic choice might not in fact deserve to make the cut. Not everyone would approve of Madrid (some outdated enclosures), Barcelona (currently in-flux) or Moscow (hardly visited) to make a Top 100 list. 'Name recognition' isn't enough for zoo nerds.

    3- I have a gut feeling that the Scandinavian countries are being under-valued due to lack of visits from zoo enthusiasts. I could be way off-base, but Denmark has Copenhagen Zoo, Blue Planet Aquarium, Aalborg, Odense, Givskud and Randers. Sweden has Kolmarden, Parken, Nordens Ark and Boras...all interesting zoos. I'm not sure how many would make a Top 100 list, but those two nations have impressive animal welfare laws and from those that have visited it would appear that both Sweden and Denmark have a handful of top-class zoos.
     
  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course, "Best" isn't the same as "Most Geographically Representative" as you note further into your post :p I doubt you made certain to include a zoo from each of the 50 states in your recent book, in any case.

    You could well be correct here - although the extent to which this affects people's lists (other than in cases like mine and sooty's where we deliberately left space in the final total for gaps in our experience rather than padding things up to 100) is cloudier.
     
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  11. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    There certainly are some zoos in that region that are well worth a visit and nobody mentioned Skandinavisk Dyrepark (some 15 minutes in car from Ree Park, already mentioned earlier) or Orsa Rovdjurspark (close to... nowhere). Both have a limited scope, but what they do, they do very well. However, the Scandinavian countries just don't match Germany, the Netherlands or Czechia... and while those three have zoos I'd place in the top-25 of the world, IMO none in Scandinavia quite make it there.

    Sure, absolutely excellent. And not far behind AQUA Silkeborg when it comes to this type* of aquariums ;)

    *(for the uninitiated both Alpenzoo and AQUA only feature local freshwater species in their aquariums, which allow them to use "tanks" that are open-topped and not protected from the weather. A direct comparison to aquariums with a wider geographic scope is potentially misleading)
     
    Last edited: 29 Dec 2019
  12. Hvedekorn

    Hvedekorn Well-Known Member

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    You could probably argue that bit by bit, many of the Scandinavian zoos are easily as good as their German/Dutch counterparts. But what they lack is size. Almost all Scandinavian zoos/aquaria have small collections - Den Blå Planet and maybe Bergen Aquarium are the only places I can think of that have more than 150 on-show species. Many of them are also pretty tiny in area - Copenhagen which is usually considered Denmark's "main" zoo is a mere 11 hectares. The zoos that have huge surface areas (Ree Park, Givskud Zoo, Borås Djurpark, Kolmården etc.) have tiny collections with a one-track focus on big mammals. Scandinavia seems to lack a "traditional" top tier zoo that is big and has a big/varied collection and has a high exhibitry standard.
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Although Alpenzoo also has indoor aquariums - don't know anything about AQUA so cannot comment there :) although I doubt it has a complete set of native fish, as does Alpenzoo.

    Reading up on AQUA it sounds like precisely my kind of collection - another one to add to my list for an eventual Danish trip, perhaps?
     
  14. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Both have indoor tanks and both have large open-topped "tanks".

    Well, unlike Austria, Denmark isn't landlocked, so not complete, which would require saltwater fish. If limited to freshwater, neither Alpenzoo nor AQUA has a complete set of the native freshwater fish species in the respective countries (e.g., Coregonus). Both are high, with AQUA much closer to a complete set than Alpenzoo, but that comparison is not really fair because Austria has more freshwater fish species than Denmark and this includes some rather problematic species pairs (e.g. Eudontomyzon mariae/vladykovi, Romanogobio kesslerii/uranoscopus).
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't believe Coregonus occurs in the Austrian Alps - and yes, you're correct that if one includes the entirety of Austria, Alpenzoo is far from having a full set of freshwater fish; I should have specified that I meant species native to the Austrian Alps :)

    On a complete sidenote, provoked by the species you cited in your last sentence, it is FAR too long since I last saw a lamprey..... there used to be a reliable spot for finding them near me, but they have been completely extirpated.
     
  16. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Looking at the list of Polish zoos that several people have submitted, it shows Wroclaw, Warsaw, Opole and Poznan Nowe as possible candidates for a 'best' European list. Then there is Lodz Zoo, which I know very little about, but the establishment is spending 80 million Euros on the enormous 'Orientarium' complex. I wonder if that exhibit area will be a game-changer for Lodz in much the same way as the 'Afrykarium' was for Wroclaw. Thoughts?
     
  17. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    I think that it will be a ‘game changer’, but Łódź doesn’t really have the same potential, as a city or as a zoo, as Wroclaw did (and does). Wroclaw was, even without the Afrykarium, a great - if flawed - zoo. Łódź, on the other hand, was sitting firmly in the relegation zone of Polish zoos.
     
  18. Arek

    Arek Well-Known Member

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    Sooty is right. Łódź does looking at the success of Wrocław Zoo. But probably it will be only
    significant increase in the number of visitors (Łódź is third biggest city in Poland and is close to Warsaw). But zoo director is Mr. Nobody in European zoo world and there is lack of experienced keepers . I know that they haven't started applying for new animals yet. So, elephants – rather young males only, orangutans – probably hybrids, rarities – rather no. Typical sharks and other fishes, popular birds and reptiles. Only hope that Mr. Ratajszczak is trying to help them a little, but he can't do everything for them.
     
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  19. Arek

    Arek Well-Known Member

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    Btw. Poznań Zoo isn’t so good as five years ago. Under new management goes straight to relegation zone (using Sooty’s term).
     
  20. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Although I shy away from ranking zoos, would it be fair to say that, to use football terminology, in Poland..
    • Wroclaw are the clear champions.
    • Warsaw and Opole are competing for a place in the Champions League.
    • Gdansk and Poznan are bumbling around in mid-table.
    • Katowice, Krakow, Plock and Lodz - without new developments - are flirting with relegation.