Tierpark Hagenbeck

Last updated
Tierpark Hagenbeck
Hagenbeck's Animal Park
Hagenbecks Tierpark Eingang barrierefrei Tourismus Hamburg 01.jpg
Zoo entrance by the tropical aquarium
Tierpark Hagenbeck
53°35′47″N9°56′16″E / 53.59639°N 9.93778°E / 53.59639; 9.93778
Date opened7 May 1907
LocationLokstedter Grenzstraße 2
22527 Hamburg, Germany
Land area25 ha (62 acres)
No. of animals14.300
No. of species530
OwnerTierpark Hagenbeck GmbH
Public transit access Hamburg U2.svg Hagenbecks Tierpark
Website www.hagenbeck.de

The Tierpark Hagenbeck is a zoo in Stellingen, Hamburg, Germany. The collection began in 1863 with animals that belonged to Carl Hagenbeck Sr. (1810–1887), a fishmonger who became an amateur animal collector. The park itself was founded by Carl Hagenbeck Jr. in 1907. It is known for being the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats, rather than barred cages, to better approximate animals' natural environments. [1]



Animal and Human trading

In 1863, the elder Hagenbeck began collecting exotic animals that came through Hamburg's port. By the 1870s, the trade had proved more lucrative than his fish shop, and Hagenbeck had become one of the most prominent exotic animal traders in all of Europe. [2] In 1874, the younger Hagenbeck traveled around the world collecting animals. Among his collections, however, were also human beings whom he exhibited in "human zoos". [3] Hagenbeck decided to exhibit Samoan and Sámi people as "purely natural" populations. The Sámi were presented with their tents, weapons, and sleds, beside a group of reindeer. [4]

Wilhelm II, German Emperor during a visit on 1909, speaking with human exhibitions. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R52035, Hamburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II. im Tierpark Hagenbeck.jpg
Wilhelm II, German Emperor during a visit on 1909, speaking with human exhibitions.

In 1874, Hagenbeck opened a zoo facility in Hamburg, called Carl Hagenbeck's Tierpark, while he continued exhibiting humans. In 1876, he began exhibiting Nubians all across Europe. He also dispatched an agent to Labrador to secure a number of "Esquimaux" (Inuit) from the settlement of Hebron; these Inuit (see Abraham Ulrikab) were exhibited in the Hamburg Tierpark. [4] [5]

Though initially popular, Hagenbeck's shows gradually began to decline in popularity, especially once the photograph became more and more common, and Hagenbeck's exhibits began to look less and less real in comparison. After one exhibit, Hagenbeck was left with a large number of elephants and no one to purchase them. Unable to sell, he started a circus. To counter the declining popularity of his human zoos, Hagenbeck began working on making his displays more realistic, techniques that would later influence the animal zoo. [6]

Panorama exhibits

The Tierpark Hagenbeck was the first zoo to separate its animals from zoo visitors using moats instead of bars. Hagenbecks Elefanten.JPG
The Tierpark Hagenbeck was the first zoo to separate its animals from zoo visitors using moats instead of bars.
Lions in Hagenbeck Zoo Hamburg Zoo.JPG
Lions in Hagenbeck Zoo

In the 1890s Hagenbeck created his first "panorama" exhibit and patented the idea in 1896. The display was the "Northern Panorama", the foreground featured seals and walruses in a pool. Hidden from the zoo's patrons was a moat behind the pool. Beyond the moat were reindeer, and beyond a second hidden moat were polar bears. By hiding the moats, the animals appeared to be together in one landscape. [7]

In 1907, Hagenbeck constructed a new facility outside of Hamburg which he called Tierpark Hagenbeck (without the 'H' that was in Thierpark) which is still the location of the facility today. Hagenbeck sought to design the entire zoo with his panorama system. He also sought to demonstrate that animals from warmer climates did not need to live in expensive, humid, foreboding buildings. Instead, Hagenbeck again sought to make his displays realistic. [8]

Using data that he had compiled running his circus, Hagenbeck had estimates of how high and far different animals could leap. Using this data, he built moats filled with water or an empty pit that he determined the animals could not cross. Using moats to separate animals that did not swim, one could look across an expanse of the zoo and see many animals at once, as if in the wild. [9] Previously, zoos had not grouped animals by species, but Hagenbeck revolutionized the layout of zoos, grouping his animals by species. Hagenbeck's design was a popular success. In 1911, Hagenbeck designed the Rome Zoo in the same style. In 1913, he designed the first monkey-rock exhibit, in this case an artificial crag with a 16-foot (4.9 m) moat. The rock was populated by around 200 hamadryas baboons. [10]

Hagenbeck called his design an animal paradise where "animals would live beside each other in harmony and where the fight for survival would be eliminated." [11]

World War I and II

Hagenbeck died in 1913, but his zoo remained popular until the political situation in Europe swept the zoo into hard times. During World War I many of the keepers were drafted into the German army. Because the military had taken horses from civilians for use at the front, many of Hagenbeck's animals were rented out for use as draught animals for hauling coal and wood on home deliveries. It was not unusual to see elephants and trained bears hitched up to heavy wagons. [12] After the war, the zoo closed for two years as Germany entered into a deep depression. Then during the Bombing of Hamburg in World War II the original zoo was destroyed. After the war the zoo was rebuilt. The private zoo is still run by the Hagenbeck family.

Monkey escape

In July 1956, forty five rhesus monkeys escaped from the zoo and ran wild in Hamburg. The incident resulted in calls for help from shocked housewives who met monkeys in their bedrooms and bathtubs. Some of the monkeys sat in trees and chattered excitedly, showing each other toothpaste, soap bars and bathroom utensils which they had grabbed. Managers of the zoo reported that more than two dozen of the long-tailed Indian monkeys had been caught by policemen, firemen, zoo keepers and schoolchildren. [13]

Antje the walrus

In 1976, the zoo acquired a female Pacific talking walrus which Hagenbeck named Antje after his sister. Antje became the logo of the north German television network NDR from 1983 to 1996. In 2003, Antje died and is now stuffed and on display at the zoological museum of Hamburg. Soon after, the children's cartoon "Antje, Tiger und Bär" aired on German television featuring a blue walrus protagonist based on Antje and designed by children's author Janosch. [14] In 2013, Tierpark Hagenbeck gained a male and three female walruses from Moscow. [15]


  1. Rene S. Ebersole (November 2001). "The New Zoo". Audubon Magazine. National Audubon Society. Archived from the original on 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  2. Rothfels 2002 , pp. 6–8
  3. "Carl Hagenbeck: The inventor of the modern animal park". DW.COM. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  4. 1 2 Human Zoos, by Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire, in Le Monde diplomatique , August 2000 (in English) French - free
  5. Kisling 2000 , pp. 102
  6. Rothfels 2002 , pp. 143–45
  7. Kisling 2000 , pp. 103
  8. Rothfels 2002 , pp. 160–61
  9. Rothfels 2002 , pp. 162–63
  10. Kisling 2000 , pp. 103–04
  11. Qtd. in Rothfels 2002 , pp. 163
  12. Alexandra Richie. Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin. p. [ page needed ].
  13. The Irish Times, "Monkeys invade Hamburg homes" Irish Times oddties, May 12, 2008
  14. "Walross Antje - das unvergessene NDR Maskottchen (Seite 1)". www.ndr.de (in German). 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  15. Heun, Sylke (2013-03-27). "Odin und sein Harem in Hagenbecks Eismeer". www.abendblatt.de (in German). Retrieved 2019-09-21.

Related Research Articles

The year 1907 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hellabrunn Zoo</span> Zoo in Munich, Germany

Hellabrunn Zoo is a 40 hectare zoological garden in the Bavarian capital of Munich. The zoo is situated on the right bank of the river Isar, in the southern part of Munich near the quarter of Thalkirchen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menagerie</span> Collection of captive, often exotic animals

A menagerie is a collection of captive animals, frequently exotic, kept for display; or the place where such a collection is kept, a precursor to the modern zoo or zoological garden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Human zoo</span> Public exhibits of humans

Human zoos, also known as ethnological expositions, were public displays of people, usually in a so-called "natural" or "primitive" state. They were most prominent during the 19th and 20th centuries. These displays sometimes emphasized the supposed inferiority of the exhibits' culture, and implied the superiority of "Western society", through tropes that purported marginalized groups as "savage". The idea of a "savage" derives from Columbus's voyages that deemed European culture remained pure, while other cultures were titled impure or "wild", and this stereotype relies heavily on the idea that different ways of living were "cast out by God", as other cultures do not recognize Christianity in relation to creation. Throughout their existence such exhibitions garnered controversy over their demeaning, derogatory, and dehumanizing nature. They began as a part of circuses and "freak shows" which displayed exotic humans in a manner akin to a caricature which exaggerated their differences. They then developed into independent displays emphasizing the exhibits' inferiority to western culture and providing further justification for their subjugation. Such displays featured in multiple colonial exhibitions and at temporary exhibitions in animal zoos.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pumapard</span> Hybrid between a leopard and a cougar

A pumapard is a hybrid of a cougar and a leopard. Both male cougar with female leopard and male leopard with female cougar pairings have produced offspring. In general, these hybrids have exhibited a tendency to dwarfism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cologne Zoological Garden</span> Zoo in Germany

The Aktiengesellschaft Cologne Zoological Garden is the zoo of Cologne, Germany. Being the third oldest zoo in Germany, it features over 10,000 animals of more than 850 species on more than 20 hectares. The internationally renowned zoo with an attached aquarium and invertebrate exhibit is active in preservational breeding of animals that are in danger of becoming extinct. In addition, in-the-wild conservation efforts and research focussing on animals of Madagascar, Wallacea, and Vietnam are actively promoted and supported via cooperation with Cologne University and local projects, such as in the case of Przewalski's horses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abraham Ulrikab</span> Inuk from Hebron, Labrador

Abraham Ulrikab was an Inuk from Hebron, Labrador, in the present-day province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, who – along with his family and four other Inuit – agreed to become the latest attraction in the ethnographical shows organized by Carl Hagenbeck, owner of the Tierpark Hagenbeck, a zoo in Hamburg, Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heinrich Leutemann</span> German artist and illustrator (1824–1905)

Gottlob Heinrich (Henrik) Leutemann was a German artist and book illustrator. He was born in Leipzig and studied there.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carl Hagenbeck</span> German trainer of animals and circus manager

Carl Hagenbeck was a German merchant of wild animals who supplied many European zoos, as well as P. T. Barnum. He created the modern zoo with animal enclosures without bars that were closer to their natural habitat. The transformation of the zoo architecture initiated by him is known as the Hagenbeck revolution. Hagenbeck founded Germany's most successful privately owned zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck, which moved to its present location in Hamburg's Stellingen district in 1907. He was also an ethnography showman and a pioneer in displaying humans next to animals in human zoos.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zoo</span> Collection of wild animals

A zoo is a facility in which animals are kept within enclosures for public exhibition and often bred for conservation purposes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tierpark Berlin</span> Zoo in Berlin, Germany

The Tierpark Berlin is one of two zoos located in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1955 and is located in Friedrichsfelde on the former grounds of Friedrichsfelde Palace, which is situated within the zoo. As of 31 December 2013, the zoo houses 7,250 animals from 846 species, in an area of 160 hectares. Tierpark Berlin also features two public exhibits free of charge, one being the Bärenschaufenster for American black bears. The park is also home to the Treskow family's historic family burial ground.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zoological Garden of Hamburg</span> Zoo in Hamburg, Germany

The Zoological Garden of Hamburg was a zoo in Hamburg, Germany that operated from 1863 until 1930. Its aquarium, which opened in 1864, was among the first in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Edinburgh Zoo</span> History of zoo in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Zoo is a zoological park in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, Scotland which opened on 22 July 1913. Edinburgh had previously been home to a zoological garden which failed to thrive. The new zoo is owned and run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and initially opened as the Scottish National Zoological Park. Modern zoological methods allowed animals to survive in Edinburgh's cold climate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka</span> Zoo in Dehiwala, Colombo

National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka is a zoological garden in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka, founded in 1936. It is home to various birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians. The zoo not only exhibits animals from Sri Lanka, but also exhibits species from across Asian and other parts of the globe.

Hagenbeck may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Johan Adrian Jacobsen</span> Norwegian ethnologist and adventurer

Johan Adrian Jacobsen was a Norwegian ethnologist and adventurer. He is mainly known as a collector of ethnographical objects, and a recruiter of indigenous peoples for the ethnographical shows organized by Carl Hagenbeck, founder of Tierpark Hagenbeck, a zoo in Hamburg. Starting in mid-1881, Jacobsen was hired by the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde to gather ethnographic objects and other specimens. His travels took him from the Arctic to South America, North America, Korea, Japan, Siberia, and the South Sea Islands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nala Damajanti</span> Stage name of a late 19th-century snake charmer

Nala Damajanti was the stage name of a late 19th-century snake charmer who toured with P.T. Barnum's circus and performed at the famed Folies Bergère in Paris. French sources identify her as Emilie Poupon (1861–?) of Nantey, Jura Department, France. Promotional posters of Nala Damajanti have been widely reproduced and are thought to have inspired one of the popular folk images of the African water spirit Mami Wata. Similar acts performing under slightly variant names such as Mala Damajaute, Nata Damajaute, and Nala Damajante are thought to have been the same person.

<i>Poison in the Zoo</i> 1952 film

Poison in the Zoo is a 1952 West German thriller film directed by Hans Müller and Wolfgang Staudte and starring Irene von Meyendorff, Carl Raddatz and Petra Peters.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Hagenbeck</span>

John Heinrich August Hagenbeck was a German animal dealer, a plantation owner in Ceylon and a writer of books. He was the originator of what is now Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hugo Schmitt</span> German-American circus artist and elephant trainer

Hugo Schmitt, born July 19, 1904, in Bann, Landkreis Kaiserslautern, in Southwestern Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany, dead August 9, 1977, in Sarasota, Florida, United States, was a German-American circus artist, animal trainer and one of the worlds most famous elephant trainers with a record of 55 elephants performing in the ring. Starting his career at Carl Hagenbeck Circus-Stellingen in Germany, Schmitt was elephant superintendent at the world's largest circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the USA from 1947 to 1971.