State: North Rhine-Westphalia
Situated beautifully in forest it is a quite green zoo. A few old building still exsist in this zoo ke the main building and the tapir house. Of raretys you meet okapis, Baird's tapir and the harpy eagle
Zoologischer Garten Wuppertal
D - 42117 Wuppertal
Open minimum 8.30am-5pm, closed 25th december
There are several daily feeding shows, for the time please ask at the till station. Kids will love the petting zoo.
On 5 December, 1879 the public company "Zoologischer Garten" was founded to operate the zoological gardens in Elberfeld. Many Elberfelders, including August Freiherr von der Heydt, bought shares at 300 German marks each. There was a very fierce debate about the future location of the Zoo. On 8 September, 1881 the Zoological Gardens opened with 34 animals, including a Bear as well as a male and female Wolf. Adult admission cost 50 pfennigs with children initially paying 30 pfennigs, which was later reduced to 25 pfennigs. Events, concerts, hot air balloon rides and trained animal shows took place in the Zoo restaurant and gardens which still remain impressive to this day. The first Lion was born on 15 September, 1899 in the Zoological Gardens in Elberfeld. "Pascha" was one of the few zoological attractions at this time. Facilities such as tennis courts and a large children's playground were the main center of attraction. The large pond at the entry to the Zoo, where the Gibbons now are, was used for canoeing in summer and ice skating in winter. At the beginning of the 20th century the Wuppertal Zoo also introduced outdoor areas without bars. These were based on the first examples of outdoor enclosures at the famous Hagenbeck animal park in Hamburg-Stelling. The polar landscape for Seals and Polar Bears was the first outdoor enclosure to be built, and two years later a rocky outcrop for the Lions replaced the previous cages. In Mai 1927 the elephant house in the Zoological Gardens in Elberfeld was completed. On 27 May a pair of Asian Elephants "Krishna" and "Lakshmi" arrived at the Zoo. Visitors crowded around the elephant house to admire the pachyderms. Until the 1960s, it wasn't unusual to present the zoo animals as if they were in a circus and have them perform tricks. Zoos today, including Wuppertal, keep their animals according to their natural needs and also treat them respectfully. The aquarium-terrarium building was completed in September 1927. The facility closely modelled the Berliner zoo aquarium. A special new feature over the crocodile pit was the sliding roof. The building was torn down in 1975 to make room for the construction of a new house for Great Apes. Due to changes in legislation the "Zoologischer Garten" were dissolved as a public company. The City of Wuppertal took over the Zoo and has been the owner ever since. During the war the authorities ordered the animals to be shot or to be sent to other zoos for their protection, as was the case for the lions. Others were slaughtered in the turmoil during the last days of the war, were divided among the zookeepers or lost because of plundering. The Zoo was only slightly damaged by bombing. However, various enclosures, animal houses and especially the rock formations, as well as the walls surrounding the Zoo were affected. The Zoo's doors reopened only a few days after the war ended. The Wuppertal Zoo Society (Zoo-Verein Wuppertal e.V.) was founded on 27 October 1955 to promote the interests of the Wuppertal Zoological Gardens. A new brown bear enclosure was opened in 1963 on the site of the former forest café, "Waldschänke", which was later relocated near the playground. On 8 September 1981 the Zoo celebrated its centenary. The Zoo Society donated the gibbon house extension on the large pond, where the Gibbons perform their balancing acts, and sponsored the building of the large deer house. The City contributed a new aviary for Birds of Prey. A considerable achievement after 100 years: Since the opening of the Zoo some 40 million visitors have enjoyed coming to see the animals and fantastic gardens. On the 5 November 1993 the free flight aviary was opened ensuring remarkable breeding results over the following years. The Blue Ground Dove, Swallow-tailed Manakin, Bare-throated Bellbird, Spangled Cotinga, Vermilion Flycatcher, Southern House Wren and the Paradise Tanager were all hatched successfully in this aviary. The elephant enclosure opened on the 14 October 1995 in the presence of the Minister-President of NRW, Johannes Rau. The outdoor enclosure of around 3000 sqm and an indoor area of 1340 sqm is the largest enclosure in the Wuppertal Zoo to date and one of the most modern elephant enclosures in the world. It provides the small herd of African Elephants a comfortable home and the possibility of bathing in a large pool every day. Watch the Central American Tapirs bathe in the tapir house which re-opened at the beginning of May 2002, where the Elephants were previously housed. The Central American Tapirs are the only kind of their species in Europe. You can watch them bathing and diving through an observation window which is unique worldwide. A new outdoor enclosure for the Orangutans was opened in July 2003. Up until then this was the largest donation by the Wuppertal Zoo Society to the Zoo. Without bars and as close as possible to a natural environment the Orangutans are provided with some 600 sqm of wonderful climbing area. Visitors get a clear view from the glass observation areas located in rock-like caves and can see the many plants and trees suitable for the animals in the enclosure. The outer walls of the enclosure have been modelled as an artificial rock face. On 8 October 2004 the Kodiak bear enclosure was re-opened after being completely redesigned. The bathing pool has been relocated to ensure easier viewing, the soil completely replaced and newly planted and the embankment made more secure. Zoo visitors can watch the Kodiak Bears through a 4 cm thick glass window in a sheltered area. An observation tower on the visitors' platform has long been in use by children. The renovations lasted around half a year. The public were presented with the new outdoor enclosure for the Central American Tapirs in May 2007. This is located on the former hippopotamus enclosure, previously the old elephant house. With the exception of the old elephant pool, the renovations to convert the old elephant house to the tapir house have been completed. In 2005 the Zoo Society had its 50th jubilee and presented the Zoo with a new penguin enclosure. Designed to resemble their natural habitat along the south African coast, the enclosure provides the African Penguins with a new home. The three large underwater windows allow visitors to watch the Penguins swimming and diving. The enclosure was officially opened in 2006 due to technical difficulties with the underwater windows. A highlight to the live stock was the birth of the first two African Elephants in the Wuppertal Zoo in 2005. Born on 3 June, "Bongi", the young female was the first African Elephant ever born in North Rhine-Westphalia. On 9 October her half-brother, "Kibo" was born. Both Elephants quickly became favourites for the zoo visitors. The Wuppertal Zoo turned 125 years old on the 8 September 2006. On 19 May, in the year of its anniversary, the fully redesigned and extended outdoor enclosure for Gorillas was re-opened. Similar to the orangutan area opened in 2003, this enclosure gives its inhabitants 525 sqm of natural surroundings. It has a small stream, grassy areas, trees and bushes, artificial rocky areas and extensive areas to climb. Separated only by a 4 cm thick panzer glass window, Zoo visitors can watch the Gorillas close up and take part in their peaceful family life. The outdoor enclosure for the Drill Baboons was completed just in time for the public holiday, Whitsun, on June 2. The Rainforest Baboons which are now very rare in their natural habitat in West Africa could then move into their large, new enclosure in the old ape house. On 24 May 2007 the 4 ha extension was officially opened. The new enclosure for the Siberian Tiger and the largest lion enclosure in a German zoo were built on the new grounds. Visitors have an interesting and surprising view of the enclosure, for example through large observation windows, over watering holes from the observation tower, or from the observation cave in the middle of the lion enclosure. After one and a half years of construction, the new King and Gentoo Penguin enclosure was opened on 23 March 2009. The long-established company Vorwerk & Co. KG, a founding member of the Zoo Society, financed the enclosure on the occasion of its 125th anniversary in 2008. As a result the Wuppertal Zoo now has the largest and most modern penguin enclosure in Europe. The area available to the animals is approximately 100 m2 and includes a pool with 220 m3 of water. The chief attraction of the new enclosure is the 15-meter-long acrylic glass tunnel under the water's surface. The only one of its kind in the world, this feature offers visitors a fascinating view into the underwater world of the penguin. Besides the King Penguin, Wuppertal's heraldic animal, the new enclosure also houses Gentoo Penguins that came to Wuppertal from the Edinburgh Zoo at the beginning of 2009. In 2011 the Okapi house and enclosure was renovated, now you also can see the indoor. In 2014 the bonobos and the wolves get an new enclosure. The same year a new restaurant is opened. The following year a petting zoo was added. In 2017 the snow leopards get a new enclosure. In 2021 Aralandia was opened, hier macaws fly around your ears while you are watching flamingos