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Visiting Frankfurt/main zoo and Opel zoo

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Perseus6, 23 Sep 2023.

  1. Perseus6

    Perseus6 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm visiting Frankfurt zoo and Opel zoo(Kronberg) in the next couple of days.
    So I'm looking for some tips and tricks as to what to look out for and how to spot the difficult to spot animals. Mostly about the rarer animals in the collection. If someone has some advice or stories they like to share I'm all ears!
    Thanks in advance!
    Sincerly Perseus6
     
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  2. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Most of it is pretty straightforward, just go to the exhibit and see them. In the Grzimek house the lights tend to be on right after it opens, so that is worth a look. As the Grzimek house opens somewhat later I normally visit the ape house first as the apes tend to be active in the morning and the house is quiet. Something you won't see is kiwi, but it is worth looking at the off-show aviaries next to the building to see if you are extremely lucky.

    In Opel-Zoo visit the small rodent house multiple times, but most inhabitants are relatively easy too.

    I will be in Frankfurt in 1 week time, so we will probably miss each other by a few days...
     
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  3. Perseus6

    Perseus6 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the reply, thanks for the tips! A shame we miss each other, I'm visiting Frankfurt today and tomorrow. Kronberg I'm stopping bye on the way back Tuesday.
     
  4. Philipine eagle

    Philipine eagle Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Frankfurt:
    If you are shortly after opening hour in the zoo, go first to the yellow-backed duiker enclosure. In the afternoon, I saw only glimpses of a back as the animals were resting in the rear part of the enclosure.

    Depending on your interests, bird or monkey house to see active animals, the reptile house to avoid the head of the afternoon (although in this time of year probably nothing to worry about).

    Kronberg:
    Don't forget to have a look to downtown Frankfurt from the Persoan fallow deer enclosures
     
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  5. Perseus6

    Perseus6 Well-Known Member

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    I got insanely lucky today.
    Today was some sort of special occasion so the zoo was filled with stands and special activities and extra feedings.
    So I got to go behind the seens and see an old Kiwi male 53 years old. I also saw a bonobo baby at around 2 hours. And ironically I saw the duikers in the afternoon so everything that was foretold that wouldn't happen happened. Some pictures of the day. When I get home I'll try to post all the news.
     

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  6. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    That is definitely good luck if I have to say so myself.
     
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  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    On July 27th, 2019, I spent 5 hours at Frankfurt Zoo, then drove 30 minutes and spent over 3 hours at Opel Zoo. It made for a long yet rewarding day. Many of us zoo nerds would love to read your thoughts on those two German zoos once you are done with your trip. Time for some reviews! :)
     
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  8. Perseus6

    Perseus6 Well-Known Member

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    So writing isn’t my strong suit, however since I got such great advice, I’ll give it a shot. Be warned I’m going to be brutally honest and critical. A little bit of background about me, my home zoo is Planckendael but I also frequent Antwerp zoo. And looking back on the trip I’ll probably will be referencing them.

    Looking back on the trip I’m very happy I went and visited both zoos. I planned to visit Frankfurt on the first day after the drive over but counted that I wouldn’t see everything on the first day, so I calculated to visit again on the second day in Frankfurt.

    After the long drive walking to the zoo was welcome, I was pleasantly surprised at the signage to get to the zoo entrance. There was a long line to enter, and the zoo looked extremely busy. The first enclosure I saw was that of the spectacled bears. I was pleasantly surprised at the design of the enclosure, not aesthetically but from a functional and animal welfare standpoint. Using the different levels and moats as a separation and creating visual barriers for the different animals. I thought it was brilliant use of a seemingly older enclosure that got renovated. The enclosure had nice foliage and enrichment the only minus for me was a lack of climbing for the spectacled bears. Moving towards the carnivore building the construction of the Asiatic lion enclosure was still going on, but a male fossa inhabited the inside enclosure. In general, I liked the building, only finding the size a little lacking for the great cats. The fossa and the Sri Lankan rusty-spotted cat enclosures were spacious, intricate and both had an outside enclosure so that was great. Spotting that there was something special going on in the zoo with tents full of info and activities for kids, I found out their were extra feedings and behind the scenes tours. Noticing there was one for the Kiwi’s I bolted to it. Speaking with a keeper I was allowed to quickly go behind the scenes and see the 53-year-old male in the pictures. The staff was very friendly and accommodating to someone speaking English, and quickly showed it to me alone so that I didn’t need to wait through the whole German speech to spot the Kiwi. Getting out after spotting the Kiwi and having a pleasant chat my day already couldn’t be ruined. The African wild dog enclosure was basic, so fine however not great. I liked the simple Antelope plains; it doesn’t look special however it’s a good enclosure. I loved the outside aviaries and the bird building. Walking through the building the isles were spacious and that was welcome due to the crowd. The only part I didn’t like about the bird house was the Marabou enclosure, as someone who is used to Antwerp’s Marabou enclosure this one was abysmal. I’m not the biggest fan of the monkey house, I see the adaptations that were made. It wasn’t abysmal it was functional, but it wasn’t good by any means. So, this is definitely an area that needs improvement somewhere in the future. The baboons seem to have a mange infection or something of the likes. The otter enclosure was fine. I really loved the great ape house, having multiple enclosures for both bonobos and orangutans is a huge plus. Only negative point to me was the lack of separation rooms inside, for both orangutans and Bonobos it’s really important to have multiple rooms and separation options. Still, this is the best great ape house I’ve seen in Germany so far. The Rhino and hippo enclosures where sorry to say abysmal. I liked the aviaries and the wallaby/ cassowary enclosure. The flamingo area was a little lacking for me. I was a little disappointed in the Okapi enclosure however it’s a solid enclosure. The giraffe area needs work, plain and simple. The poor Dik dik’s were stressed out of their mind inside. Their outside area was good. The bongo and red river hog area was fine, not great. I liked the Duiker enclosure I think it was really good it would be perfect if it were a little larger. The remaining Ungulate and zebra enclosures were good. The seal enclosure and penguin enclosure were really nice, I couldn’t see anything during the feeding. The gibbon enclosure was a little to small for my liking, and the bridge to the island leaves some desires. Now the Exotarium and Grzimek house were just world class. The night house as is honestly one of the best I’ve ever seen. I liked London’s night house as well, but this is on another level. I got to see everything; the Aye ayes were very active. The keepers were very motivated and exited to talk to a zoo nerd. Apparently, the Jerboa’s are breeding fully behind the scenes however it’s difficult to find holders for them. In general, it seems challenging to cooperate in EEP’s due to a lack of holders. I also happened to chat with the zoo director who told me they just secured funds from the city to develop the next construction project. They’re looking to work on the Giraffe house next, the Hippo house is also on the list.

    So, closing down the zoo I got to see everything I wanted to see only missing some anoles and amphibians. I considered dropping my second day of visiting and instead going to visit the Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden. Since I saw close to everything I wanted to see and more, I decided to visit the Natural History Museum. And I didn’t regret it, I couldn’t even visit the Botanical Garden, I spent the entire day in the museum and highly recommend it to anyone who visits. As an avid gamer, who also enjoys nature I could only describe it as: Spotting wildlife in nature is depending on the species difficulty hard- Impossible, Spotting animals in a zoo normal difficulty and Spotting animals in a museum Easy difficulty. The collection of the natural history museum was impressive. I liked the different exhibits, with a deep sea, marine research, and coral reefs. A large collection of birds and mammals. Only minus for me was the lack of English info, this didn’t really stop me since I knew a lot already but might be difficult for other people. Keep this in mind if you ever do visit.

    Last zoo on the last day on the way back home I visited Opel Zoo. Honestly this was a bizarre zoo to me, I wont be as extensive as my review of Frankfurt. I think the parallels between Frankfurt and Antwerp Zoo are extensive both being city zoos are as much as Planckendael and Opel zoo. In general, great spacious enclosures, al be it a little basic. The zoo reminded me in a way of Bouillon more than of Planckendael, simple enclosures with a few terrible ones. The thing I found lacking most was enrichment and a little more vegetation or visual barriers in the enclosures. The thing that boggled my mind was the fact you could feed most animals in the zoo. It’s fine in the sense that it was food to buy so it wasn’t bad nutritionally. However this leads to people just trying to feed anything, and the threshold of just bringing their own food or throwing a leftover or a biscuit or something is lowered. So this leads to a lack of knowledge of input of which animal eats what for the keepers that makes it more difficult to take care of your animals. A unhealthy focus of the animals toward humans as they feed them leading to less intraspecies behaviour. Terrible fights and conflict due to different food items that are given. For me this doesn’t belong in a modern zoo. Personally I really enjoyed the zoo I think it was beautiful and don’t sleep on the panoramic view. However most enclosures were really good. I still think this is the best African Elephant enclosure in Germany, but it was a little disappointing to me. The inside was a little small.

    In general, I would recommend visiting all the zoos and the museum I did visit. I didn’t visit Opel Zoo very long, but I didn’t regret the time I spent there I enjoyed it.Frankfurt to me is a must see zoo in Europe, one of the examples of a city zoo. It frustrated me slightly more because I saw what Antwerp could be if they choose to invest in things like a night animal house rather then attempting to have all the big species.
    The Natural History Museum is world class, hard to rank but I highly recommend to visit it.
    Opel Zoo to me is more of an hit it on the way to or back, nice to see al be it a little strange.

    I apologize for my writing and grammatical and spelling errors. But I hope you enjoyed my little review/recommendations.
     
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