Zoo and Wildlife in Berlin
Berlin might be Germany's biggest city, but its network of parks, woodlands, waterways and undeveloped spaces make it popular with wildlife as well as people. Hannah Cleaver went to see what happens when their interests collide.
Encounters with wild animals in Berlin are generally moments of wonder – the fox quietly busy when spotted by a puffing jogger, the rabbits chasing each other across an open expanse of grass, the wild boar rooting around in the undergrowth of the woodland car park.
The Berlin Zoological Garden (German: Zoologischer Garten Berlin) is the oldest and best known zoo in Germany. Opened in 1844 it covers 35 hectares (86.5 acres) and is located in Berlin's Tiergarten. With about 1,380 different species and over 19,400 animals the zoo presents one of the most comprehensive collection of species in the world. Globally known animals like Knut, the polar bear, and Bao Bao, the giant panda have contributed to the zoo's public image.
One of east Berlin's more off-beat attractions, the Spreepark was once the only amusement park in the GDR but was left to rot in 2002 after a scandal involving 180kg of cocaine hidden in the Magic Carpet Ride. It's a magical, if ramshackle, place – frogs now colonise the logflume; the mouth of the rollercoaster is sprouting foliage and the ferris wheel stands perfectly intact. Sometimes your guide is Sabrina Witte, the colourful daughter of the disgraced former owner...
Tierpark Berlin zoo is the largest adventure animal park in Europe. More than 9,000 exotic animals live here in a diversified, spacious landscaped park with a historic palace and many highlights. Get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life and join on a world-wide journey!