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Zoologischer Stadtgarten Karlsruhre

Address Ettlinger Str. 6D-76137 Karlsruhe
Telephone 0721-1336801
How to Find it:
Open: 8-18.30 Uhr, im Winter bis 16 Uhr.
Prices: Erw. 5 DM. Kinder (ab 6) 2,50 DM.
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
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This critique last updated:  Jan 2008

Official Description

If you work for this zoo – please send us: A description of the zoo (100 – 1,000 words or so) / Admission prices and opening times and zoo size (hectares or acres)  Address, telephone, email, web site,/ How to find you / An electronic copy of your logo / A summary of the number of species and animals (see table to the left) / A complete species list (common names and latin names please)

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Visitor Reviews

This review submitted by Niels Johs Legarth Iversen: November 2000
I visited this zoo several times during the seventies, when I travelled around Europa as an interrailist. It was very conveniently situated right opposite to the main railway station, and the town itself is right on one the main train routes through Europa. It was a nice zoo, though not spectacular in any way. Then came the eighties, where I didn't have the opportunity to visit Karlsruhe. In 1991 I came back to have a look at the zoo, but I only found a public park with traces of a zoo… a couple of desolate houses with inhabitants that looked like somebody might come any moment to cart them away to the nearest soap factory. “This Zoo is dead, stuffed, arrived at the end of its thether, futsch, requiescat in pace, goodbye zoo”, I thought and went away sad, even though the entrance fee now was zero Deutschmark. But my judgment was somewhat premature, the zoo survived, and even though there now is a modest fee to visit the place I'm happy to see it alive. It is a middlesize zoo with large open spaces interspersed with animal enclosures and houses. Officially they have got more than 1100 animals, but it seems less. It is a nice park, though I liked the old zoo better. Nevertheless I'm glad it's still there, it was so close to vanishing.

This review written by John Tuson and reprinted by Kind Permission of International Zoo News

Whilst the smaller zoos of, for example, Britain, have tended in recent years to specialise in certain areas — and almost exclusively to focus on smaller animals — this is not the case in Germany. It is not unusual to come across a collection which contains only 30 or so mammal species, but which nonetheless displays elephants, tigers, bears and giraffes, the result being that many of Germany's smaller zoos are, in content and flavour, scaled-down versions of their larger counterparts.

In this respect Karlsruhe Zoo is the archetypal smaller German zoo. If the total number of mammal species to be seen there is not great — somewhere under 40, excluding domestics — then the comprehensive nature of the collection is certainly impressive. And whilst few of Karlsruhe's buildings are truly remarkable, they do all possess a solidity, a permanence, which is certainly typical of Germany, and which is perhaps typical of those larger `premier league' zoos. What isn't typical about Karlsruhe Zoo is its location, in the corner of a large botanical park. The botanical displays are pleasant, but it is the zoo which is clearly the biggest draw: on the day of my visit the animal houses were crowded with visitors, the rest of the park almost deserted. Perhaps the most striking building in the zoo is the house for hippos, Asian elephants and lesser flamingos. The areas for the latter two species are simple but attractive (even though the elephants are not over-blessed with space), and the hippos' internal pool, which visitors can cross by means of a wooden bridge, allows close contact with these most impressive animals. A profusion of plants adds a suitably tropical feel to the house, and the overall impression is good, if cramped.

Rather more conventional are the houses for cats (snow and Javan leopards, jaguar, northern lynx, Geoffroy's cat and, in a moated enclosure, lions) and primates (Allen's swamp monkeys are the rarities; half a dozen more commonplace species are also to be seen, including chimpanzees). Elsewhere Grant's (Boehm's) zebra and eland coexist peacefully, whilst in the adjacent paddock can be seen scimitar-horned oryx and blesbok. Banteng and a fair-sized family of giraffes are also maintained at Karlsruhe, but the most notable ungulate species here is the Persian goitred gazelle, a family of which live in a sloping paddock in a quiet corner of the zoo. The only other unusual residents of Karlsruhe Zoo are crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus); these wonderful South Americans aside, it is a more predictable roster of species which completes the collection: meerkats, wallabies, sea lions, grey seals (sharing their pool with a group of Humboldt's penguins), and other such frequently-seen creatures, all displayed conservatively in thoroughly adequate but perhaps rather uninspiring enclosures. Finally, five polar bears are to be seen in a concrete pit — large, but not really large or imaginative enough for this species.

As a collection, Karlsruhe does rather lack focus, but it has enough breadth to enable it to introduce a very good cross-section of the animal world to its visitors in very attractive surroundings. Perhaps because it is only one part of a larger concern, it does, occasionally, seem to be rather lacking in energy, as though it is being allowed to drift along without any overwhelming sense of purpose, but nevertheless it is a pleasant zoo with the potential to be very good indeed.


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