Zoo Berlin’s Rhino Pagoda set to open on 24 June

The first residents have moved in | Final steps before completion

    Of the five rhinoceros species left on Earth, three are in danger of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also lists the other two species as threatened – including the Indian rhinoceros. Now, a swampy grass landscape has been created at Zoo Berlin for members of this vulnerable species, who will share their new home with warty pigs and tapirs. An opening date for the new structure, which is one of the Zoo’s largest construction projects in recent years, has now been set: on 24 June, visitors will be able to admire this monument to species conservation from the inside for the first time. The first animal residents have already moved in. On 28 April, two rhino bulls, Inesh (2) and Sanjay (6), came to Zoo Berlin from a zoo in the UK. They are currently in mandatory quarantine inside the new animal house. As soon as that’s over, the two female rhinos Betty (28) and Jhansi (32) will move into the shared accommodation, along with critically endangered Visayan warty pigs and vulnerable lowland tapirs.

    Since the foundation stone was laid in the late summer of 2021, the 14,000 m² area close to the Löwentor entrance has been unrecognisable. A 25-metre tower now rises into the sky in the middle of the site, surrounded by a watery swamp where the rhinos will soon be able to enjoy a leisurely mud bath. “Inside this impressive structure, our visitors will go on a fascinating journey into the homeland of the Indian rhinoceros – learning more about the animal’s habitat and the conservation work we are supporting in northeastern India,” explains Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. In the early 20th century, Indian rhinoceroses were almost wiped out in the wild. Populations gradually recovered after rhino hunting was prohibited and protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries were established. However, hunting remains one of the main threats facing the Indian rhinoceros, alongside habitat degradation. And many other species around the world are in similar trouble: the IUCN lists around 40,000 animal and plant species as threatened – more than ever before.

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