Zürich Zoologischer Garten

Last updated
Zoo Zürich
ZooZurich Eingang.jpg
Date opened1929
Location Zürich, Switzerland
Coordinates 47°23′6″N8°34′23″E / 47.38500°N 8.57306°E / 47.38500; 8.57306 Coordinates: 47°23′6″N8°34′23″E / 47.38500°N 8.57306°E / 47.38500; 8.57306
Land area27 ha / 0.1 sq mi
No. of animals4673 (2016)
No. of species375 (2016)
Annual visitors1.2 Million (2016)
Website www.zoo.ch/en
Interior of the Masoala Hall Masoala zoo zuerich 3.jpg
Interior of the Masoala Hall

The Zoo Zürich is a zoo located in Zürich, Switzerland and together with the Basel Zoo is considered as one of the best zoos in Europe. Opened in 1929, it is the third oldest zoo in Switzerland (after Basel and Arth-Goldau) and it accumulated a collection of 2,200 specimens of 300 species by its seventy-fifth year. It is located on Zürichbergstrasse, on the lower reaches of the Zürichberg in the Fluntern quarter.


One of its popular events is the penguin parade, which is performed daily after noon if the outside temperature is below ten degrees Celsius.

The zoologist Heini Hediger was director of the Zürich Zoo from 1954 to 1973. The current director is Severin Dressen. [1] The zoo is member of WAZA and the EAZA.

The most famous attractions are the Asian elephant exhibit and Masoala Hall, which are inside of a large dome. Guests can even view elephants from underwater. They are also known as the only and first European institution to successfully breed Galápagos tortoises. Over the course of the years, the Zürich attraction has sent the baby tortoises to more than two dozen other zoos. [2] In 2005 the zoo discovered that the seven lemurs caught in Andasibe thought to be mouse lemurs were actually a new species later named Goodman mouse lemur. [3]

The zoo made international headlines in July 2020 when a Siberian tiger mauled a zookeeper to death in front of members of the public. [4]


In 1992 a new plan for the development of the zoo was presented. The area of the zoo was to be doubled by 2020, while keeping the number of species the same and redoing most of the enclosures. The goal was to shift the focus away from displaying animals towards displaying ecosystems, allowing animals to retreat into spaces hidden from visitors. To house these ecosystems - Eurasia, South America and Africa/Madagascar - the zoo was geographically divided into distinct zones.

An updated master plan [5] serves as guideline even recently:

Already implemented and preexisting enclosures

Interior of the Kaeng Krachan elephant park Zoo Zurich Kaeng Krachan Elefantenpark 2.JPG
Interior of the Kaeng Krachan elephant park

Further developments

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  1. "Tiger kills Zurich zookeeper in front of visitors". BBC News. 2020-07-05. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  2. "80-Year-Old Tortoise Has Babies With Boy Toy". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. Hooper, Rowan. "Madagascar reveals two new species of lemur". New Scientist. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  4. "Keeper killed by Siberian tiger in Zurich zoo". the Guardian. Associated Press. 2020-07-04. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  5. "Masterplan Zoo Zürich". Official Website of Zoo Zürich.