2017 – an eventful year in figures
Berlin’s zoological facilities have had a busy few weeks conducting their annual inventories. This doesn’t just involve totting up visitor numbers – all the animal inhabitants of Berlin’s Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium also have to be counted. The most important results are that Berlin remains home to the largest variety of species of any city in the world, and that its zoos are among the German capital’s most popular attractions.
On the date of the inventory, 31 December 2017, a total of 20,219 animals representing 1,373 species were living at Zoo and Aquarium Berlin. The Tierpark, meanwhile, was home to 8,859 animals of 713 species. Last year’s new arrivals included seals Gregor and Herbert, and Grévy’s zebra Gerrit – all born at the Zoo. At the Tierpark, visitors’ hearts were stolen by the animal park’s first baby porcupine, Pixie, and snow leopard cub Kitai. But the city also had to bid some fond farewells – including to hippo Max and Indian rhino Thanos, who both left Berlin to start new lives at other zoos.
The most famous new arrivals of 2017 were, of course, Zoo Berlin’s giant pandas Meng Meng and Jiao Qing. The arrival of the couple saw the return of giant pandas to Germany after a hiatus of several years. “We witnessed a clear increase in Zoo visitor numbers in the second half of the year,” reports Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. In total, just under 3.5 million people visited Zoo and Aquarium Berlin in 2017. “Like at other attractions, our ticket sales were affected by the adverse weather conditions in 2017, but thanks to the arrival of the pandas and the increase in sales of annual passes, we still achieved a good result for the year,” says Knieriem. The Tierpark, meanwhile, was visited by 1.4 million people last year. The improvement on last year’s figure is primarily down to a 22-percent increase in sales of annual pass.
The total number of visitors to Berlin’s Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium in 2017 therefore equals 4.9 million –placing Berlin’s zoological facilities alongside New York, San Diego, Singapore and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as one of the top five zoos in the world.