Hugo Weigold

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Max Hugo Weigold (27 May 1886 – 9 July 1973) was a German zoologist and a pioneer bird bander who established the Heligoland Bird Observatory, one of the world’s first.

Weigold was born in Dresden. He studied natural sciences and geography in Jena and Leipzig. He worked for the Scientific Commission for Marine Research in Heligoland, a German island in the North Sea, where he specialized in bird migration, setting up the bird observatory in 1910 to trap and band the migratory birds passing through the island.

For six years Weigold carried out zoological research in China and Tibet and was the first Westerner to see a live Giant Panda in the wild, buying a cub (which did not survive for long) while part of the Stoetzner Expedition in 1916. He later became Director of Natural Sciences at the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover. He died in Bruckberg, Lower Bavaria.


  • Wildt, David E. (ed) (2006). Giant Pandas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83295-3.