Berlin bears bring success
Countless smiling children’s faces, dozens of fascinated adults, many happy families – 2019 was a record-breaking year for Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin. Almost 30,000 animals were admired by around 5.5 million visitors – more than ever before in the history of Berlin’s zoological gardens.
At Tierpark Berlin, the number of tickets sold increased by around a third compared to the previous year. This impressive performance was largely thanks to polar bear cub Hertha. Ever since she took her first steps outside in March 2019, extraordinary numbers of visitors have gathered at the polar bear habitat to watch the cub playing on the rocks and in the water. Zoo and Aquarium Berlin also experienced an impressive increase in visitor numbers, with around eight percent more tickets sold than in the previous year. The Aquarium’s popularity was particularly notable, with demand for annual passes around 20 percent higher than in 2018. In general, the number of Zoo, Aquarium and Tierpark annual pass holders has doubled over the past five years. There are currently more than 50,000 Tierpark annual pass holders, and over 70,000 Zoo and Aquarium annual pass holders.
“These record figures for 2019 are not just reason to feel proud, they clearly demonstrate that we have been doing things right,” concludes Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “Each year our facilities delight millions of people and raise awareness of the need to protect species and conserve nature.”
A major highlight of 2019 was the 175th jubilee of Germany’s oldest zoo. In early August, Zoo Berlin hosted an event to celebrate its special birthday – with an opulent cake cut by Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller in the presence of three of his predecessors. But the birth of panda twins Pit and Paule on 31 August 2019 definitely captured by far the most public attention – not least because they are the very first panda cubs to be born in Germany. However, the cubs didn’t go on view to Zoo visitors until January 2020.
The year 2020 has many exciting things in store for visitors to Berlin’s zoos. Big cats will return to the German capital when the Alfred Brehm building reopens at the Tierpark in late spring and the Zoo’s new Predator House is inaugurated at the end of the year. “And of course, we won’t be resting on our laurels,” says Knieriem. “We will be working hard to keep improving these three wonderful facilities.”
2019 in facts & figures
Zoo & Aquarium Berlin
3,729,999 visitors (2018: 3,573,763 visitors)
71,641 annual passes sold
19,459 animals in total
1,185 different species
1,726,143 visitors (2018: 1,470,254 visitors)
50,980 annual passes sold
10,994 animals in total
667 different species