Thus commences my short but sweet ‘Tales of Berlin’ series. Our first port of call was the zoo and aquarium, which both Finn and I were pretty excited to visit, after a wildly successful trip to Blackpool Zoo during a freezing cold weekend in Lancashire (during which we saw several monkeys push a capybara into a lake – classic).
Berlin zoo was built in 1844 and both zoo and aquarium hold a vast collection of species. The fine day in September was the perfect opportunity for some animal squees and the chance to play with some different settings on my camera. Having paid a whopping 18 euro each for a joint ticket, we were determined to get our moneys worth and spent the whole of our first day there, although much of it was spent searching for bears, only to find that hey were all asleep or sad. Silly bears…
Highlights included the very content looking hippos, beautiful seals and oodles of jellyfish behind magnifying glass. The puffer fish was wonderful too, giving us the sexy eye while pressing its bony little mouth up against the side of its tank.
I always feel mixed about the zoo experience, as it’s a real privilege to see these animals up close, but it clearly compromises their lives which is a bit rubbish. A good case in point are most of the wading birds we saw, all of whom had one of their wings clipped. They did not look happy. Having said that, most of the creatures were in prime condition – the tigers looked very content, as did the majority of the primates, many of whom were looking pleased with their very teeny young. We enjoyed the window into the feeding of everyone, seeing a keeper chainsaw up some meat for the big cats was pretty exciting.
Berlin Zoo had been in possession of a giant panda for many years, whom I was very excited to meet (see my twitter feed for many-a gush about pandas). Unfortunately, he had passed away in 2012 and so I stood outside his empty enclosure and had a moment of silence.
And of course, as our energy waned, we consoled ourselves with a delicious beer, noting with much relish its availability within the grounds of the zoo. A merry day indeed, until we drove ourselves insane trying to find the exit.
Have you visited Berlin Zoo?