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Top 5 German Zoos!

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 5 Mar 2017.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    What is your ''German Big Five'' :) (''Deutsche top 5 Tierpark'') or the best 5 zoos in Germany according you.
    I am trying to choose what German zoo to visit next (in the following 8-12 months) (I have only visited Tierpark Hellabrunn insofar), and I am particulary interested to see bonobo, okapi, Eastern black rhino, and koala, and interesting collection of venomous snakes.

    ??? :)

    I read that Magdeburg zoo has very high-quality exhibits? But don't have okapis. Who is more attractive in general - Cologne or Frankfurt zoo?
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Bearing in mind I haven't visited too many, my personal top five consisting solely of collections I have visited is as follows:

    1) Tierpark Berlin
    2) Zoo Berlin
    3) Weltvogelpark Walsrode
    4) Wilhelma
    5) Zoo Magdeburg

    It is worth noting that these are rated on how much I enjoyed them, rather than trying to objectively compare all German collections - naturally a collection as relatively small as Magdeburg, or as specialised as Walsrode, is on a different level to a massive generalist collection such as Zoo Berlin.
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2017
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  3. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, this is a hard one, because there are so many and they're all so great. I'm actually going to go as far as making a top 12, as this will include most German zoos I have visited and thus give a better total view of my opinion.

    1) Zoo Leipzig.
    A very beautiful zoo that manages to follow the modern trend of bigger, more immersive exhibits and themed areas to please the general public, but still has plenty of very rare species to keep it more than just 'interesting' for the hobbyist, like us. A very comprehensive map, guide published yearly with full inventory list, and very friendly and approachable staff make it so this zoo is all the way at the top.
    And, well, there's Gondwanaland, which is just absolutely fantastic.

    2) Zoologischer Garten Berlin.
    A very typical city zoo (which I love) with plenty of intriguing architecture, a very extensive history, and a lot of magnificent species to tie it all together. Plenty of oddities found nowhere else, in mostly wonderful exhibits.

    3) Weltvogelpark Walsrode.
    A collection I haven't actually visited myself, but I know enough about the wonderful species to know that it's a park I absolutely need to visit, and need to visit soon. From pictures, most of it looks fantastic as well!

    4) Tierpark Berlin.
    A very nice collection with a lot of very nice species in very nice and spacious exhibits, but in my opinion it misses something to really draw attention? While there, I felt more like I was just ticking off things from a list over actually enjoying seeing the animals; not that I didn't, but not many exhibits individually were very eye-catching in my opinion. Regardless, the Alfred-Brehm-Haus and Elephant house are extremely impressive works of art with some very nice species.

    5) Zoo Frankfurt.
    Night houses are my all-time favorite areas in zoos, and guess what zoo has the biggest in the world? You guessed it. Besides the absolutely wonderful Grzimek House, it also has a plethora of other absolutely wonderful buildings and exhibits; and a beautiful entrance!

    6) Kölner Zoo.
    The German zoo I've actually visited most of all (though still only a measly 3 times!), and still absolutely love. A very stereotypical 'German' zoo with a lot of wonderful history, and a plethora of very impressive buildings with many nice species.

    7) Zoo Wuppertal.
    My love towards cotingas probably pushes this one forward a little, as without the bird house I don't think it would make the top 7, but again, a wonderful zoo. Besides the bird house other very nice exhibits are the gigantic area for lions, and, of course, the only Indian leopards outside of Asia.

    8) Zoo Duisburg.
    I found it very tough placing this one somewhere on this list, as it was the first German zoo I visited and I don't quite remember everything so well. Obviously there are some incredibly inspiring exhibits (mainly the Rio Negro exhibit coming to mind, of course) that make the zoo very attractive, but as soon as that last river dolphin individual will pass away I would need a very good reason to revisit again; a lot of nice species, but a lot of the exhibits (in my opinion) weren't what they could be. However, this might all be because I visited very early on in the year, I'm sure in the summer it looks better (as do most zoos).

    9-12) Zoo Dortmund / Wilhelma Stuttgart / Zoo Magdeburg / Tierpark Hagenbeck Hamburg.
    4 Collections I haven't actually visited myself, thus don't quite know where to place them, but I am positive that if I were to visit them, they would certainly be somewhere in the top 15. The first three have some very nice species going for them and the last has had a very dramatic impact on the history of zoos as a whole, which is why I'm also including it in here.

    Not included but zoos I have visited are Alwetterzoo Münster and Tierpark Nordhorn; very nice zoos, and the former has a very interesting idea behind it that I think could/should inspire many other parks, but in totality they just don't jump out enough to quite make it into this list.

    As with all "top X" lists, mine should be taken with a grain of salt, as I've only visited most of these collections once and a lot depends on the weather, no-shows of highlight species, how crowded everything is, etc. I also find it very hard to place certain very similar zoos above or below each other, as I thoroughly enjoyed visiting all of them. :D
     
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  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, what the hell - here is my current ranking of those German collections I have visited. As noted above this is based purely on my enjoyment of the collections, and shouldn't be taken as a suggestion that the smaller or more focused collections are the same as the larger or more generalised collections.

    1) Tierpark Berlin
    2) Zoo Berlin
    3) Weltvogelpark Walsrode
    4) Wilhelma
    5) Zoo Magdeburg
    6) Tierpark Hellabrunn
    7) Tierpark Hagenbeck
    8) Zoo Augsburg
    9) Zoo Leipzig
    10) Vogelpark Niendorf
    11) Zoo am Meer
    12) Tiergarten Nurnberg
    13) Wildpark Schwartze-Berge
    14) Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover
    15) Wildgehege Klovensteen
    16) Vogelpark Olching

    Were I to try to formulate an objective "best collection" list the above would a) be in a rather different order and b) I would probably have to split it into a "Large collection" and "Small collection" list :p
     
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  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, thanks.
    Visions places Leipzig zoo at first place, but TLD on 9th place.
    Is Leipzig zoo stunning - e.g. very high quality exhibits?

    I think that as Vision wrote, it is very important for zoos to have eye-catching exhibits and not necessarily very diverse collection. Like it seems that Valencia bioparc is very attractive because of the stunning enclosures, despite having just around 140 species of zoo animals.
     
  6. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Rather than restrict my list to my top five German zoos I thought I might as well list my top ten.

    I had no difficulty whatsoever in selecting the first three; they just had to be-

    1. Berlin Zoo
    2. Berlin Tierpark
    3. Stuttgart (Wilhelma)

    And I should add that the first two are not only my favourite German zoos but my two favourite zoos in the world.

    Choosing the next seven was much more difficult, and ranking them harder still, but I eventually arrived at the following list:-

    4. Frankfurt
    5. Cologne
    6. Munich (Hellabrunn)
    7. Wuppertal
    8. Leipzig
    9. Hamburg (Hagenbecks)
    10. Nuremberg

    These are all zoos that I have visited many times over the years and have always thoroughly enjoyed my visits.

    There were various other German zoos I would like to have included; it was hard, for example, to leave Duisburg off the list (primarily because of the river dolphin). I also decided to consider general collections only and ignore bird gardens otherwise Walsrode would have probably been in fourth or fifth place.

    Finally, I must emphasise that this a subjective list of my personal favourites; I am not suggesting that these are objectively the best German zoos.
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2017
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  7. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    Germany is large and has very food collections: try listing by geographical area.
     
  8. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    We have a"best"zoo in germany ?
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2017
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    No, but the Netherlands has a BestZoo :p
     
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  10. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    @TeaLovingDave

    Only the person, what has seen all zoos of the world, can say which zoo is the best of them all...;)

    But-what makes a zoo"the best ? I know good zoos, bad zoos, average zoos and poor zoos, but I'm still looking for the"Best". I'm afraid, it is not existing....:)

    But I tell you a little secret-but its only for you: some years ago, the dutch zoos were much better than the german- Unfortunately, one of the"best"dutch zoois gone now, it was replaced for a Themepark, and I have no idea, how good the second"best"dutch zoo is today-my last visit there was a few years ago, but I guess, it is still better than Berlin(both places), Stuttgart, Duisburg, Frankfurt....Strange, some german zoos with a really good animal welfare doesn't appear in any of the lists above-only"large"collections"...;)( except yours-it includes also some smaller"collections";))

    I have no Idea how best is Best Zoo, never been to that place-too small collection:(:mad:
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, bear in mind my list comprises only collections I have visited :p which accounts both for the omission of various collections and the inclusion of small collections!

    I presume the lost collection to which you refer is Dierenpark Emmen - from all I have heard both of this collection and the one which succeeded it, I am rather sorry I never had the chance to visit.

    Nothing wrong with a small collection - one of the highest quality UK collections, Shaldon Zoo, is also one of the smallest I have ever visited; closer to yourself, the only reason Wildgehege Klovensteen is so low on my list is because I only had the chance to see it briefly and it displays very few species, even though it contains one of the best exhibits for European Eagle Owl I have ever seen.
     
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  12. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think it's very important for a zoo to be a place that the general public, which still makes up probably over 90% of zoo visitors, thoroughly enjoys visiting. Because of the ever-growing media, controversiality of zoos now is (very sadly) becoming a very large factor, and if we want zoos to keep existing within X years from now, I believe beautiful, eye-catching habitats and an immersive experience is necessary to make sure the general public keeps visiting zoos.

    However, on the other hand and like most other people on this site, I really enjoy visiting a zoo and seeing rare, mostly small animals, and couldn't care less about most 'ABC animals.' The trend with most very large collections, however, seems to be that they have a lot of very interesting species in generally less interesting exhibits (let's say, for example, Berlin Zoologischer Garten's primate house; a wonderful building with many unique species, but most indoor exhibits to the general public look bland and boring, and are nothing more than a row of cages with monkeys in them).

    In my opinion, a good zoo is one that can combine both aspects; state-of-the-art exhibits that will catch the eye of the visitor and make them remember the collection well, while at the same time the collection doesn't only consist of ABC species; in my opinion, Leipzig is a zoo that pulls this off very well.
     
  13. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Personally I have visited most of the major zoos in Germany, with the exception of Hamburg, Augsburg and Rostock (and smaller zoos like Saarbrucken, Cottbus etc.).

    My personal top 5 would be:

    1. Cologne Zoo; just the best overall in terms of collection, exhibit quality and very good in terms of education and conservation

    2. Zoo Leipzig; I have been visiting this zoo since over 15 years, so I have seen the development and I have seen it change from a GDR-Zoo into a modern zoo with some very nice and some overthemed areas. Collectionwise it is very nice as well

    3. Wilhelma Stuttgart; not the best in terms of enclosures, but a good collection with an amazing botanical section and nice architecture

    4. Zoo Magdeburg; Small but very nice and it has gotten only better since my visit in 2012...

    5. Tierpark Berlin, potentially the best German zoo for me, but only recently this potential is being unleashed....

    Notable mentions for Nuremberg, Zoo Berlin and Walsrode ;)
     
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  14. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Having been reminded about this thread by @snowleopard "liking" one of my posts upthread, and given the fact I will be returning to Germany later this week, I thought it would be an appropriate time to update my previous rankings to take into account collections I have visited in the intervening time, re-assessment of collections already visited and.... let's be honest.... the way I happen to feel at this precise moment ;)

    1) Tierpark Berlin
    2) Zoo Berlin
    3) Weltvogelpark Walsrode
    4) Zoo Magdeburg
    5) Zoo Köln
    6) Wilhelma
    7) Zoo Wuppertal
    8) Tierpark Hellabrunn
    9) Zoo Frankfurt
    10) Zoo Augsburg
    11) Zoo Leipzig
    12) Vogelpark Niendorf
    13) Zoo am Meer
    14) Tierpark Hagenbeck
    15) Zoo Dortmund
    16) Tiergarten Nurnberg
    17) Zoo Krefeld
    18) Aquazoo Dusseldorf
    19) Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover
    20) Zoo Duisburg
    21) Aachener Tierpark
    22) TerraZoo Rheinberg
    23) Wildpark Schwartze-Berge
    24) Wildgehege Klovensteen
    25) Vogelpark Olching
    26) Wildpark Grafenberger Wald
     
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  15. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for updating your list and I hope to visit between 25-30 German zoos next summer. The tentative plan is to tour 9 of the zoos on your list and all of them are fairly close to the Dutch/Belgian border: # 5, 7, 9, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.
     
  16. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    For what it is worth, you could pretty readily do #26 at the same time as #18, as they are both in Dusseldorf and the former takes less than an hour to get around.

    To be honest, the latter only takes two or three hours itself :p
     
  17. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    There's a zoo that should definitely be included in this list, and that is the Naturzoo Rheine. Further noteworthy candidates include the zoos of Dresden, Heidelberg, Landau, Marlow, Munich, Nordhorn and Osnabrück, smaller zoos such as Görlitz and Schönebeck, native wildlife parks such as Wildpark MV or Bad Mergentheim and specialised institutions such as Arche Warder, Gifttierhaus Eimsheim, Reptilium Landau or Kamelhof Sternberger Hof.
     
  18. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I've only been to 4!

    1 Tierpark Berlin
    2 Zoo Berlin
    3 Zoo Duisburg
    4 Zoo Cologne
     
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I decided to rank all the German zoos I have visited:

    1) Frankfurt Zoo.



    That is all.
     
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