The Vienna Zoo – a half a day trip in Schönbrunn
Located on the Schönbrunn’s castle domain, the Zoo is one of the world’s oldest zoo’s, also being a part on UNESCO’s patrimony. Here is the home for many endangered species, almost 500 of them, some of them close to extinction (like the Panda), and besides all that, is one of the most beautiful Zoo’s in the world.
Tourists are guided to start visiting from A (antilopes) to Z (zebras), following a well thought off path, showing animals enclosures on both sides. A visit here is like a unique experience in the outdoors, making everything look genuine. Each enclosure is individualized for that specific animal, making it seems like it’s a fragment of its natural habitat, so that the animal doesn’t feel the frustration of being incarcerated, being behind steel bars, rather being behind a wide wooden fence, or glass wall.
Also, the envireonment and the careful design of each enclosure makes it easy for keepers to allow a breeding ground for these species, helping them to not become endangered to be extinct anymore.
Special “Train Station” in Schönbrunn – Zoo Vienna
The beauty of this Zoo starts immediately after you hop off the mini-train that carries tourist on the domain. The Zoo “train station” is located in a small forest, where trees cover this area, like a protection against the steel-concrete Zoo in which humans live in. As soon as tourists enter the Zoo, paying a fee of 15€/person or 13€/person for groups larger than 10, or 7€ for children and teenagers up to 19, you enter the realm of squirrels. This part of the forest, is owned by these little playful creatures, that welcome tourist by sharing food with them, and jumping around like they’re on minisprings. As the path descends, on both sides different enclosures can be seen, showcasing lots of species, from white peacocks, to wolves, bears and even mountain goats, all of them being strictly monitored through CCTV. After the path reaches a lower point, a clearing can be seen, where the administration is working on creating a huge enclosure for the polar bear family, complete with a pool and a cold zone.
The further we go, we can see other areas, where lions are kept, and other predators, such as jaguars, or tigers. Close by we can see the mighty Panda, sitting next to his pool, splicing bamboo and eating it, in front of everyone, making it one of the most popular attractions of the Zoo. It seems that breeding this family of Pandas was a success here, being a huge help in the process of repopulating this almost extinct species.
Tirol Garden and Emperor’s Pavillion over he Zoo
Of course, this is not everything that one can visit here, there are lots of animals to be seen everywhere, from monkeys of many kinds, to exotic birds and fish. If tourists get hungry, they can have a lovely meal at one of the restaurants here, like Tirol Garden or the Emperor’s Pavillion, where Viennese and international specialties are carefully prepared.
Schönbrunn’s Zoo is open all around the year, visiting hours being slightly different, depending on what month it is. When closing time occurs, as a tradition that was kept for the last 240 years, a small bell is pulled, to signal closing time. Originally, this bell was pulled when the emperor and his archdukes would arrive on the domain. Welcome to Zoo Schönbrunn at Vienna.