ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen
|Date opened||1949 as "Ruhr-Zoo"|
|Land area||31 hectares (about 77 acres)|
|Number of animals||ca. 560|
|Number of species||64|
|Major exhibits||expedition to Afrika, Alaska and Asia|
The ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen, founded on April 14, 1949, as "Ruhr-Zoo", is one of the most modern zoological gardens in Germany. It was founded on a heavily shelled area besides a port at Rhein-Herne-Kanal. First size was 15.5 hectares. First years animals were changing often, because they were provided by an animal trader.
Now the park is owned by the City of Gelsenkirchen via GEW – Gesellschaft für Energie und Wirtschaft mbH, (society for energy and business, a holding of municipal ownership)
After 2004 the park was enlarged to the present size.
It is especially well known for its panoramas and cultural approach.
The main attractions are big animals, mostly mammals; the zoo has no aquarium house, insectarium or other facilities prone to smaller animals.
|prior to 2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
|approx. 250,000||approx. 750,000||approx. 1,000,000||approx. 900,000||approx. 850,000||approx. 1,050,000||approx. 902,000|
The number prior to 2005 reflects average visitor frequency of the old Ruhr-Zoo.
Concept and layout
The entrance area resembles characteristics of a Westphalian farm and is called Grimberger Hof (opened 2004). Its yard offers access to the three separated areas of the park. These are called "safaris" and titled Alaska (opened 2005), Afrika (opened 2006) and Asien (opened 2010).
All Safaris are accessible through gates in a matching style with a shop delivering related paraphernalia.
The area is decorated with American road signs, a school bus, a cave resembling a gold mine and other touristic features. Besides another open-air restaurant a multimedia show with animated floor raises the illusion of riding an ice floe.
This safari features most of the popular big animals from the Sub-Saharan Africa. Lions and zebras can be seen within the same panorama. A pond with flamingos, a rocky landscape for monkeys and an area with hippos (which are separated from the visitors by means of invisible underwater fences) can be traveled by tow boat ride called African Queen.
Besides wild animals the entrance area displays some domesticated forms like Ankole-Watusi.
The area features another open-air restaurant and a big playground.
Asia features mainly a big hall with tropical climate, home of Orang-Utans, Gray langurs, Flying foxes, orchids, palm trees and more. It also includes a big indoor playground and a restaurant with some Asian kitchen.
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