Most Famous Animals in German Zoos

famous german zoo animals knut

German Zoo Animals | Germany Zoo | Largest Zoo in Germany

Who are the most famous animals in Germany’s zoos which brought it to fame in the last couple of decades?

Berlin Zoo Panda Bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing

In 2017, it became public, that the Berlin Zoo at Zoological Garden will receive two Pandas called Meng Meng ( = dreaming) and Jiao Qing ( = cutie) as a loan from China. For the Berlin pandas, the famous zoo specially built a new enclosure. The Pandas landed in Berlin in late June 2017.

The Panda deal was pushed forward about two years ago when chancellor Angela Merkel personally asked for them during a trip to China. The transfer of their national animals is an important gesture for the country. The animals are strictly protected in China and are re-cultivated by means of artificial insemination. Previously, Pandas were considered as state gifts. Today, animals from the offspring are only loaned to zoos in other countries. The pandas in the Berlin zoo are a loan for 15 years. 

The Berlin pandas are living on two separate outdoor plants on a 5,000 square meters outdoor area as well as in a special panda house. 

Berlin Zoo Polar Bear Knut

In the beginning of 2016, polar bear knut saw the light of day – the first birth of an ice bear in Berlin zoo since 30 years. Only a few months later, back in 2007, polar bear Knut became one the most famous baby zoo animals in the world. The media hype around the sweet Knut was gigantic and his picture was everywhere: not only on tv, but also on t-shirts and stamps. 

He was raised by the keeper Thomas Dörflein. In 2011, Knut died suddenly in his German zoo. The cause of his death was most probably an Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which caused the animal cramps and finally led to his drowning. Seven years later, in 2008, Knuts keeper Thomas Dörflen died after a heart attack.

Opossum Heidi

Opossum Heidi was born in 2008 in North Carolina. She was raised at an animal station and then was sold to a Danish zoo. In May 2010, she landed in the zoo Leipzig, where opossum Heidi became famous due to her squinting eyes. One of the possible reasons for them was her overweight with which she already arrived in Germany and what caused also fat deposits in her eye sockets.

Hobby musicians from the Harz Mountains even wrote a song about Heidi, the opossum. She died in 2011 due to age impairment.

Elephant Marlar

Zoo elephant Marlar was born in 2006 in one of the most modern zoos in Europe, the Cologne Zoo. Her birth brought visitors records and one of the most famous German zoo animals became part of the then new zoo logo.

In March 2017, elephant Marla became mother of a bull elephant called Moma.

Octopus Paul (Paul, the Octopus)

Paul was an octopus, born in 2008 in the Atlantic Ocean and was later brought to an aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. He became well-known worldwide in 2008 and 2010, when he was used as an “oracle” to predict scores of the European Championships and the World Championships in soccer. Most of his predictions turned out to be right and Paul, the octopus became a media phenomenon. The idea was developed by the pr agency Dederichs Reinecke & Partner, who was awarded the International German PR Prize in 2011 for the press and media work on Paul, the octopus.

How did Paul, the octopus predict the football results?

A few days before the game, two similar lid boxes made out of acrylic glass were put into an aquarium. The boxes contained water and food in the form of a shell. On the viewer’s side, the boxes were decorated with the respective national flag of the two countries, whose national soccer teams would compete with. Paul’s food selection was considered as a prediction of the winner.

Octopus Paul died a natural death in late 2010.

Lama Horst

Lama Horst from the zoo Leipzig was part of a German series called Elefant, Tiger & Co. (elephant, tiger and more) (since 2003) with which the animal became famous. The visitor magnet and marketing animal of the zoo already had public appearances at the Leipzig train station and the town hall. The 2002 born lama retired in 2017 as a part of the series. The successor of one of the most famous German zoo animals will most possibly be a Lama called Sancho.

Featured image (cropped): Knut im Zoologischen Garten BerlinJens369 (Jens Koßmagk) – CC BY-SA 2.0 DE
June 28, 2017
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