The big headcount

Berlin’s zoological facilities record a total of 26,684 animals and 5.6 million visitors

    The end of each year signals the start of the annual inventory at Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin – and 2023 was another record-breaker. With a total of 5.6 million visitors, more people were drawn to the three institutions last year than ever before. But it’s not only visitor numbers that get tallied up – we also count all the animal inhabitants. In 2023, the Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium were home to a total of more than 25,000 animals representing around 1,500 species. Meanwhile, some 630 employees worked hard at all three facilities to make sure that the needs of visitors and animals were always met.

    One of the most important events at the Zoo occurred in the summer of 2023 with the opening of the Rhino Pagoda, where visitors can now discover the swampy habitat of Indian rhinoceroses, tapirs and Visayan warty pigs on around 14,000 m² of space. The Zoo’s panda twins Pit and Paule also drew a lot of attention, particularly around their fourth birthday in the summer and their journey to their Chinese homeland on 16 December.

    At the Tierpark, the special Dinoworld Berlin exhibition thrilled visitors of all ages. More than 20 life-size dinosaur models installed in the area between the Kakadu terrace café and Schloss Friedrichsfelde manor house transformed the wild and romantic heart of Tierpark Berlin into a prehistoric adventure trail. This popular dino experience contributed to the Tierpark’s 12 percent increase in visitor numbers and has been extended by another year until autumn 2024.

    “We are very proud that we were able to welcome more guests to Berlin’s zoological gardens last year than ever before,” reports Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “This success motivates us to continue investing our energies into the modernisation of our three wonderful facilities, and I am already looking forward to the next big event, which we hope will happen soon.” The most exciting news would be more panda cubs at Zoo Berlin, Knieriem explains, as this time visitors could enjoy watching the toddlers make their first explorations live. The early milestones in the lives of Pit and Paule – the first panda cubs born in Germany – could not be witnessed in person by Zoo visitors because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

     

    Looking ahead to 2024

    There is great potential for good news at Zoo Berlin in 2024. On 1 August, Germany’s oldest zoo will be celebrating its 180th anniversary, and throughout the year all eyes will be on the city’s most famous LAT* couple, Meng Meng (10) and Jiao Qing (13), with fingers crossed for more offspring. Keepers have already started collecting daily urine samples from Meng Meng. These samples will reveal hormonal changes that will signal when it may be time for panda reproduction experts to be flown in from Chengdu.

    There is also potential for gorilla offspring: following a recommendation from the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), hopes are high that female gorilla Djambala (22) will soon be welcoming her first baby.

    Improvements to the animal habitats are set to continue in 2024. At the Empire of Cats, construction will begin this spring on the net installations for new spacious outdoor tiger, leopard and jaguar enclosures.

    Aquarium Berlin is currently undergoing full renovation, but remains open to visitors as the building is being modernised floor by floor. All information displays are also being renewed in the process. Visitors can look forward to improved signage and guidance systems, as well as new activity tables with digital content, listening stations and hands-on exhibits.

    Otter Island is set to open this spring at Tierpark Berlin. From the Easter holidays, visitors can enjoy watching the lively comings and goings of the island’s various inhabitants. The new community of small-clawed otters, babirusas and crested macaques provides insight into one of the last unexplored areas of wilderness and a biodiversity hotspot: faraway Indonesia.

    The numbers at a glance

    As of 31 December 2023, the day of the annual inventory, Zoo Berlin was home to 18,887 animals representing 1,015 species. At Tierpark Berlin, there were 7,797 animals representing 632 species.

     

     

    Zoo Berlin (incl. Aquarium Berlin)

    Tierpark Berlin:

     

    Visitors: 3,853,720 (2022: 3,636,430)

    Animals: 18,887 (2022: 19,583)

    Species: 1,015 (2022: 1,063)

    Visitors: 1,792,271 (2022: 1,606,220)

    Animals: 7,797 (2022: 8,055)

    Species: 632 (2022: 639)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Visitor No. development

    2023

    2022

    2021

    2020

    2019

     

    Zoo Berlin

    3,853,720

    3,636,430

    2,344,236

    2,267,398

    3,729,999

     

    Tierpark Berlin

    1,792,271

    1,606,220

    1,265,569

    1,220,166

    1,726,143

     

    Total Zoo + TP

    5,645,991

    5,242,650

    3,609,805

    3,487,564

    5,456,142

             

    *Living apart together: An increasingly popular form of partnership in which two partners in a committed relationship live in separate households.

     

     

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