Animal exchanges

Hellos and farewells at Zoo and Tierpark Berlin

    It is not only the staff of Berlin’s two zoos who work closely together – the animals also often move between the city’s east and west. A few weeks ago, for example, young takin Bolek (2) moved from the Tierpark to the Zoo, where he is now keeping elderly couple Tsangpo (22) and Nam Tso (20) company and injecting new life into their daily routine.

    Just in time for German father’s day, the Tierpark’s male polar bear Wolodja (6) packed his things for another stay at the Zoo. “We know that he has mated with Tonja several times during the spring and we would like to give our potentially pregnant female as much peace and quiet as possible,” explains Tierpark curator Dr Florian Sicks. Wolodja is familiar with this journey, as he already spent a few months at the Zoo in 2017. In the wild, polar bears are solitary animals – meeting only to mate and then going their separate ways. Wolodja is currently getting accustomed to the new surroundings and smells out of the public eye. He will emerge for the first time over the long Ascension Day weekend. Like last year, he and the Zoo’s established resident, elderly female Katjuscha (33), will alternate between the two outdoor habitats.

    On the same day as Wolodja’s move, male Grévy’s zebra Kosa (8) relocated from the west to the east as part of a successful breeding collaboration between Zoo and Tierpark. Last year, he sired the young male Gerrit, and as every new addition is crucial for this endangered species it is hoped that his return to the Tierpark will result in more young in the summer of 2019. Finally, all five of Zoo Berlin’s rose-breasted cockatoos will soon be moving to the Tierpark’s Kakadu terrace café (“Kakadu” is German for cockatoo).
    “We usually move our animals according to the recommendations of the European Endangered Species Programme,” explains Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “To avoid inbreeding, young animals must eventually leave their parents’ group – just as they do in the wild.”

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