One thing a lot of people overlook while touring the globe are the numerous zoological parks. It’s usually not a top priority for me, either, but if you have several days in town it is certainly worth checking out some of Europe’s best zoos. Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo is certainly among Europe’s best.
Munich’s Zoo, known as Tierpark Hellabrunn, is located to the South of Munich and easily accessible by public transportation via the U-bahn (Munich’s subway). Founded in 1911, Hellabrunn is an 89 acre zoo with over 700 species of animals making it one of the most biologically diverse zoos in Europe.
It is known as a Geo-zoo, a cage-less zoo, and a back-breeding zoo.
As a Geo-zoo, animals live together according to their geographic distribution in complex communities. Munich’s zoo has the distinction of being the world’s first geo-zoo and proudly continues its tradition.
Hellabrunn zoo has a very high ratio of enclosures which are cage-less, which means the zoo features moats instead of fences. This creates a more appealing atmosphere for visitors and animals alike.
Another way Hellabrunn zoo stays ahead of the pack is its back-breeding program. I know what you’re thinking, “Back breeding? Huh?” Well, what they have tried to do is to recreate extinct animals such as the tarpan (Eurasian wild horse) or the aurochs (they created the Heck Cattle in this case). Although the outcomes are debatable, for many it is just fascinating to see.
Some of the major attractions include lions, tigers, elephants, sea lions, polar bears, penguins, baboons, and orangutans.
Getting there is simple, just take the U3 (the orange line) to “Thalkirchen (Tierpark).“ If you prefer to stay above ground, there is a bus from Marienplatz as well; you can take bus line 52 all the way to the end of its line at “Tierpark (Alemannenstraße)”, right in front of the “Flamingo-Entrance”.