On May 4, 1865, the Zoological Garden Hanover was founded. In the period of now more than 150 years, the fifth oldest zoo in the Federal Republic experienced many ups and downs. From 1922-1924 the park was closed due to financial difficulties and reopened only on concerns of a citizens’ initiative. Through private involvement of the Alfeld based animal trading company Ruhe, the zoological garden developed more and more into a showcase of the company, before the zoo went into the possession of the city of Hannover in the early 70s. Visitor records and breeding successes determined this time, before it went down rapidly with the very conventionally operated zoo in the early 90s.
A new beginning was needed, which is why the animal park was sold symbolically in the first instance to the municipal association Greater Hannover, ie to the Hanover region. Reorganized as a limited liability company, the company benefited massively from the approaching World Exposition in the year 2000 and, being the first zoo in the country, gave up its long-established and discredited way of animal husbandry. The theme areas Zambezi, Gorilla Mountain, Meyer’s Farm and the Indian Jungle Palace have been shaping and shaping the image of the Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover since then.
As a native Hanoverian, I grew up with the Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover. I even spent a week with my primary school at the zoo, trying to ride the Sambesi boat ride (a tow boat ride by Intamin) over and over again; the rest of the time, we spent at the amazing playground. In Northern Germany, a good animal park is typically characterised by the size of its playground and this one was meaningfully upgraded in 2007 by the integration of the figures Johnny Mauser, Franz von Hahn and the thick Waldemar from the children’s book Freunde by Helme Heine. The Mullewapp area also has three summer tubing lanes, which are included in the entrance fee.
By 2010, the enclosure with Australian animals was relocated, resulting in the small Outback theme area, as well as the opening of the Canadian themed area Yukon Bay. As an amusement park enthusiast you will encounter many nice themed areas on your journey throughout the different countries of the world, mostly crowned by a more than just thrilling rollercoaster, but Yukon Bay beats them all by far. You can see why prairie dogs are the new meerkats and polar bears are true masters in cliff jumping when suited in a sufficiently large and versatile enclosure. In addition to a large stage with a worth seeing sea lion show, the theme area even offers some good food options and some boardwalk games.
In 2013 Kibongo opened. The new outdoor area of the chimpanzees, which expands the gorilla mountain. The zoo is currently working on a new economic sector, which will also expand the Zambezi theme area. A transfer of the entrance area and other projects promote the growth of the zoological garden, which lives up to every single cent of the comparatively high admission price.
The Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover is a very versatile animal park. You can spend several hours without any problems. Although the animal enclosures, by the limited space of the zoo, are by far not as huge as in the animal and leisure park Flamingo Land in the English county of Yorkshire (which is why you will hardly see a giraffe chasing an ostrich over here), they are still quite big; The animals all seem to be in good health and that should be the goal of any zoo in general. For late-comers and bargain hunters, there is also the possibility of a reduced entrance fee in the last few opening hours of the park (if the park is not hopelessly crowded, it is a thoroughly pleasant alternative).
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