One of the most important entries on my Leipzig bucket list was the zoo. I have been watching so many documentaries about it on TV that it was crystal clear to me: This zoo is well worth a visit.
Start of the round tour through the zoo
Just a few steps into the zoo from the entrance we were able to observe the penguins. Unfortunately, we just missed the presentation in the penguin habitat by a few minutes. The animals were still very excited because some of the staff members were chatting behind a fence in the habitat. For the penguins that must have looked like it is plausible that some more delicious food could make its way over the fence. So they marched up and down the fence in excitement and some of them stood so close to it that they could have easily been grabbed from the other side.
A round tour through a zoo normally means looking for some animals. But in Leipzig the round tour is clearly signposted so that visitors who follow the signs can be certain that they won’t miss anything on the way. My next highlight of the round tour were the fur seals, the fur seal ladies to be more exact. This time we were in time for the feeding and the presentation. The member of staff had fascinating information to share while she was feeding the animals. We learned a lot about fur seals in captivity but also about their relatives in the wild. The feeding also serves as a low-stress training for the animals so that vets and animals achieve a better cooperation in emergency situations. It was funny to observe the herons who were sitting above the habitat waiting to snatch some leftover fish. Tough luck for the herons: the fur seals were very hungry!
Gondwanaland in Leipzig’s zoo
Our round trip led us to Gondwanaland. Inside a huge glass dome is a tropic paradise. Warm temperatures and a high humidity offer optimal conditions for the inhabitants all year round.
Our first stop was the island of the squirrel monkeys. Better put away everything that isn’t nailed down. My tip: Do not rush. The little monkeys sit in the trees and are easy to observe. During our visit two of them were busy with a box in their habitat and one of them even sat on the fence directly in front of us all of a sudden.
It is interesting that the monkeys cannot leave the island. They would have to cross a metal bridge, but a current, like in a pasture fence, runs through it and the monkeys stay away from the fence and do not leave their island. In Gondwanaland I discovered many animals, including some of my favourites. A sloth was sitting high in a tree and did what sloths do best: lazily hanging around. Next, a tapir with its young. I once saw how a tapir enjoyed a back scratch by its keeper so much that it just passed out and since then I would love to try if I could pull this off, too. We spent a lot of time in Gondwanaland. We walked along the canopy path and enjoyed the birds that were flying around in the glass dome. Absolutely wonderful!
Round tour through the zoo
Back outside we continued the tour to the Elephant Temple Ganesha Mandir. It is a very spacious habitat that is pleasant to visit. Unfortunately, we missed the bath of the elephants which is said to be a pleasure to witness. The elephants in Leipzig were fairly active on that day which made observing them a fun experience.
The next highlight of our visit was Pongoland. Apes live here in carefully designed habitats. A small, cheeky chimpanzee who did acrobatics in a net in his habitat was very entertaining to watch but also the orang utans were very active and a pleasure to observe.
There was so much more to discover. The ultra long, slim and dark tongues of the giraffes, the pelicans and the hyenas. I don’t think there is a single area in the Leipzig zoo that doesn’t offer a fascinating glimpse into the animal kingdom. We very much enjoyed our stay and we highly recommend taking plenty of time to discover as much as you can. After the construction work for the new Himalaya habitat is finished we will certainly come back once more.
Pfaffendorfer Str. 29,
21.03. – 30.04.: 9-18
01.05. – 30.09.: 9-19
01.10. – 31.10.: 9-18
01.11. – 20.03.: 9-17
The pictures in this article were used with kind permission of the Leipzig zoo.