When it comes to zoo’s I have mixed feelings. First up I’m scared of most animals (not a great start) and secondly I always wonder if the animals there are really happy?
While the former of my issues is only going to ease over time (I am at least now able to stoke a dog without a lengthy pep talk) when it comes to the animals Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is a breath of fresh air. Here animals are housed in Baroque style compounds, which are open and airy, cut off from the public by rope, fences or glass panels – not ugly metal cages. The animals appear happy and contented and visitors really feel up close and personal with the creatures, who call Schönbrunn home. Education and conservation are also important elements of the zoo’s fabric, with many threatened species found here.
This intimate set up might have something to do with its heritage – being as it is the oldest zoo in the world. Located behind the grand Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) as an imperial menagerie, the zoo was originally the private collection of Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine.
Understandably the animals may not be the same as those installed in 1752, but they were a friendly bunch. Meet my highlights:
Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is open all year round check their website for details. Adult tickets are €15 and children’s admissions are €7 (children 6 and under are free).
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Category: Travel Photography