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Berlin Zoo What is it like? Berlin zoo

Discussion in 'Germany' started by CMP, 15 Nov 2020.

  1. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    I have spent much of the last week wondering about the Berlin zoo which I would very much like to visit one day. I have seen may of the pictures and reviews here on ZC, but I was wondering a much more simple question: What is it like? Not a full in depth review, but just what in general could I expect, and how big is it/how long does it take to go through, how the exhibits are, and what the atmosphere is like.
    (If this concept works, there are a LOT more European and Asian zoos I would like to ask this same question about :))
     
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  2. Fallax

    Fallax Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    The zoo is pretty packed, it is extremely species rich. I would say it takes most of a day to really appreciate everything but it can be done faster than that if you really wanted.

    The exhibits are generally pretty good and up to standards though with it being a city zoo some are smaller than counterparts would be in other zoos but not necessarily bad. Some of the indoor enclosures can look a bit sterile but they are functional for the most part. Atmosphere wise, well it feels like a zoo :p but jokes aside it feels like you are getting something worth your time, everywhere you look there is a new type of animal to be seen and the space is used very well in my opinion. The zoo can sometimes feel a bit more like a collection of species more than a recreation of a natural habitat however (not that this is a bad thing) due to the high amount of species and the general trend in the zoo for animals to be grouped taxonomically over geographically.

    To conclude, it really is a must-visit zoo and if you had to visit one European zoo it would definitely have to be a contender!
     
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  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    for example :D

    The zoo does not feel packed, and has many old trees especially oaks. Enclosures are small, but generally well furbished with care of comfort for animals (lots of sitting places, rest places, climbingequipment etc) and well thought of areas of greenery. There is lots of species, although much fewer than even 10 years ago. It is a zoo which really takes a full day, despite relatively small area. Lots of stonework and rockwork, including a huge Iguanodon sculpture straight out of a horror movie. Most of buildings are solid brick architecture, suitable to freezing German winters, but there are also several modern ones, like a hippo glass ceiling.
     
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  4. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the replies! Berlin zoo seems very awesome, confirming my thoughts.
    Also the 4k walking tour is nice, Berlin zoo seems to be one of the better documented zoos in Europe. Still looking for good videos of Frankfurt's Grizmek House.

    Also: Follow up question
    What is the Aquarium like at Berlin zoo? The pictures make it seem awesome and impossibly big, with many cool reptiles, insects, and fish, but I have Shedd near by so I have to lower my expectations for most aquariums.
     
  5. Fallax

    Fallax Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    The aquarium is a building with 3 layers. The bottom is a traditional aquarium, the middle is like a reptile house, the top is inverts and amphibians. The building is really nice and has some rarities like tuatara.
     
  6. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Visiting Berlin Zoo is not only enjoying the richness of species (Zoo Berlin and its Aquarium had 2222 species somewhere at the end of the 1970s and have now ca. 1450 species) and the relaxation in a green oasis of a metropole, but also breathing history. Maybe with the exception of Tiergarten Schoenbrunn in Vienna no other zoo can compete with it in this point. Although some may say that most of the buildings in colonial style are replicas, you can still feel the atmosphere of the 19th and begining of the 20th century, as well as the architectonical style oft the 1950 to 1970s and modern constructions in form of the Hippo House, the Bird House and soon the Carnivore House.
     
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  7. Therabu

    Therabu Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I would add to the description of the aquarium (the first level dedicated to fish) that from a average visitor point of view, it is not very spectacular. It is mainly rows of aquariums that are on the smaller side which is fine for most of the collection but definitely not suited for exhibiting sharks and other big fish species such as arowanas well.
    I am not very familiar with fish species, but it appears that Berlin aquarium have a bunch of poorly represented species on exhibit (and a lot more behind the scenes according to Zootierliste) that might be of interest for anyone interested into fish species.
    I personally prefer the reptile and amphibians parts, first because I know better what I am looking at but also because terrariums are very good overall.
    Whatsoever, if you come to Europe, the two Berlin zoos should definitely be on your list of institutions to visit.
     
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  8. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    I agree with most of your comments about Berlin Zoo which is definitely my favourite zoo out of all those I've visited.

    However regarding "breathing history" I think that the Jardin des Plantes Menagerie (Paris) rivals both Berlin and Vienna in this respect
     
  9. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    I do not agree with your statement. Berlin is a nice zoo with an astonishing amount of species, that is true, however, compared to Schönbrunn, la Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes or even the Wilhelma at a smaller scale, you can't really feel the history of the place while visiting the zoo. It does have a rich history, but it's not in the zoo itself that'll you'll learn much about it. In Schönbrunn or in Paris the buildings speak for the zoo, while in Berlin even the older buildings like the Pheasandry do not tell such a story.
    Some parts do have a nice background and are aging well (seabird aviary, the deer / pig area, the chicken exhibits) but overall, and I have the same problem with Berlin the city, it is a patchwork of different styles and eras, making it harder to really understand what happened, when and where do the building come from, where as in Vienna or Paris, you have some kind of harmony all over the zoo.
    If you've read the thread about the old Berlin, before and after war, here on Zoochat, then you might get why those buildings are of a different style, where the bombing occured etc. but for a regular visitor, Schönbrunn or Paris are in another league when it comes to the history rich feeling, in my opinion of course.
     
  10. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    @Tim: Of course the menagerie of Jardin des Plantes has also a lot of history, but lack the II. World War part (destruction thru bombing, fighting on zoo grounds) as well as the after war part (reconstruction, competition of the two Berlin animal attractions within the two policitcal systems, reunion of Germany, Knut-Mania etc.), with tops imo the short revolutionary time that the menagerie can bring into as a unique feature.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2020
  11. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    @Rayane: Well, although I can follow your arguments, I will keep my statement. First, I already said "maybe with the exception of Tiergarten Schoenbrunn". So I left space for saying that Vienna is probably even more "historical" all over the years as Zoo Berlin. The point with Jardin des Plantes is not entirely valid, because there are no signs of II. World War (as far as I could have seen and if my memories are correct), so no reconstruction was needed and there was also no competition in exhibiting animals and create special buildings during the Cold War as it was in Berlin. All those things have left their tracks in Zoo Berlin.
    And I don't think that we can bring up Wilhelma in Stuttgart here, because in its first decades it did not exhibit animals, so in contrary to the other locations mentioned here, it wasn't a zoo (too) from the begining. However: Yes, Wilhelma is also interesting/remarkable history wise and it is one of my favorite zoological gardens.
     
  12. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    Of course, Berlin Zoo has a long, eventful, exciting and extremely interesting history, and its very special charm comes from the really great combination of old, historic buildings and new, modern animal houses, but I wouldn't say that its history is different or higher to rate than that of other similarly old zoos. I find the history of Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hagenbeck, London, Bronx-Zoo New York or Bristol no less fascinating and exciting than that of Berlin Zoo, because its history is different for every zoo. That's why you can't compare them with each other. And just because a zoo was destroyed or almost destroyed in the Second World War, this does not make its history any more interesting. After all, quite a few other zoos in Europe share the same fate with the Berlin Zoo...

    Ps . Yesterday evening I watched again the video of the Berlin Zoo, which was released for its 150th anniversary in 1994 - Man, how time flies...
     
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  13. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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  14. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Yes, at the end, it will be a question of taste ("too" or "more or less" - chose whatever you guys like more).... Maybe I should have just add "to me" and everything is fine;)
     
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  15. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    Let's put it this way - the history of the Berlin Zoo is always more interesting than that of Wildlands Emmen.:);)
     
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  16. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    I remember having a weird celebratory dream the night before I went to zoo Berlin after years of dreaming of going there. The dream was a bootleg version of thankful heart from a muppet Christmas carol.
     
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  17. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    I remember having a dream before I went to San Diego zoo that I somehow missed seeing everything but Indian rhinos. Last night I was worried that I was out of time and barely saw anything at a made up aquarium. One's mind certainly is very creative, truly telling us our greatest fears.