Happy birthday, Hertha!

125 years of Hertha BSC

This year marks the 125th anniversary of Berlin football club Hertha BSC. Since it was founded, the club has become as quintessentially Berlin as the Berlin bear, the Brandenburg Gate, or Zoo Berlin. The relationship between Hertha and the Zoo is a long and special one. Team members regularly visit the Zoo when playing at home, club mascot Herthinho recently met up with the Zoo’s panda mascot, many of our vets and keepers are die-hard fans, and Hertha is the sponsor of our sloth bear Rajath. Most importantly, though, Hertha and Zoo Berlin are both true Berliners – they may be old, but they will never go out of fashion.

Zoo Berlin would like to wish Hertha BSC a very happy 125th birthday! In tribute, we take a look back at the long and eventful history we have shared:

1892 – The year that Hertha was founded, Zoo Berlin was already nearly half a century old. During that year, the Zoo was home to just under 1,000 species, and the new Equine House – which sadly no longer exists – was built.

1906 – After a difficult start, both Hertha and Zoo Berlin had their first milestone successes: Hertha won the Oberliga Berlin while, at Zoo Berlin, expansion of the Elephant Pagoda was followed by the first elephant birth in Berlin – a female calf named Editha.

1930/1931 – Hertha won the German championship two years in a row, and Zoo Berlin gained two new features that still exist to this day: a rock feature for the seals and the first petting zoo.

1957 – Hertha celebrated its 16th Oberliga Berlin win, while Zoo Berlin welcomed its first post-war gorilla – a public favourite known as Knorke. That same year, gorilla baby Fatou was born. Today, Fatou is the oldest living female gorilla in the world.

1968 – Hertha BSC climbed back up into the Bundesliga. Dr Heinz-Georg Klös was appointed Zoo Director, signalling the beginning of Zoo Berlin’s glory days.

1975 – Hertha had its most successful year yet, finishing second in the Bundesliga. At Zoo Berlin, the unique Nocturnal Animal House opened and Germany’s first Andean flamingo hatched.

1977 – Hertha reached the final of the DFB-Pokal, and Zoo Berlin celebrated its first fur seal birth since 1941. In addition, the Ape House was renovated and baby orangutan Mano was born.

1979 – Hertha reached the UEFA Cup semi-final and the DFB-Pokal final for the second time. At the Zoo, rhinoceros Terai was born. Famous panda Bao Bao was also born this year. Bao Bao moved to Berlin in 1980, where he lived until his death in 2012.

1997 – Hertha climbed back up into the Bundesliga, and Zoo Berlin welcomed baby lowland gorilla Bibi.

1999 – Hertha’s bear mascot Herthinho was “born”, and Zoo Berlin’s bear stock expanded with the arrival of sloth bear Sutra from Leipzig Zoo.

2000/2001 – Hertha won the DFB-Ligapokal two years in a row. In the first year, sea lion Enzo was born; in the second Djambala the gorilla.

2013 – Hertha was promoted to the Bundesliga once again, and future Hertha-sponsored sloth bear Rajath arrived in Berlin from Leipzig. 

2017 – Hertha qualified for the UEFA Europa League and Zoo Berlin welcomed two new pandas – the only pandas in Germany.

Here’s to the next 125 years!

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