Gettorf Zoo

Another week another trip. This week we did not go to Lübeck as planned but to Gettorf Zoo. The zoo is just 30 min away by car and truth to be told I have never been there before. I tried to remember whether I have visited that zoo before but it really seems that it is the only one in the whole area I have never been in. The zoo started as a private animal collection and was later opened in 1968. Ever since then the zoo has gotten bigger but still remains as a family business. They have a big focus on monkeys and on tropical birds. Especially the section with the tropical birds is very interesting as you can enter many of the bird aviaries.

King Julien is bored

Right after you enter the Zoo you can see how family friendly it is as there is already at the entrance a small playground. There are several playground spread all over the zoo area with one even having a section of a wooden castle for kids to climb on going inside a skunk cage! No the kids can not go directly into the skunk cage but the castle “paths” are just a meter above the enclosure. There are signs stating that the skunks spray their nice smelling odor very rarely but it could happen at any time and that they can spray over a distance of 3m. Thankfully nothing happened while Nathan was playing there but I didn’t take any chances and stayed far away from the skunks.

Does this parrot look like a toy?

The monkey enclosures are a bit different from the ones in other zoos I have visited as the smaller ones (such as the squirrel monkeys) can even leave their cage through pipes leading for example onto trees on the other side of the path. There in the trees they can climb around but they can not get down as there is a metal disk around the tree half way down. Besides those pipes there is even one bird hall where White-faced Sakis can walk freely around. As mentioned before you can enter several of the bird aviaries with all kind of different species within. At first we didn’t notice that you can enter until we saw some kids hand-feeding budgies in one of the aviaries. The birds are rather used to people walking around (you are only allowed to walk on the paths to give the animals the possibility to get some rest in other parts of the aviaries) as you can hand-feed several of them and even touch them. One African Grey Parrot was so tame that MIL thought at first that it was a toy!

One of the many butterflies

In the Tropic Hall is a special program for the past few summers. This special is called “Butterly Magic” and is an enclosure you can walk through with hundreds of butterflies within. In fact there are so many that they even land on you when you stand still for a few minutes. My wife loved it until I told her that there must be also tons of caterpillars around…suddenly she wasn’t so fond of staying there any longer. MIL didn’t even care about the butterflies as she was more focused on making monkey sounds whenever we passed by a monkey enclosure.

This fellow was annoyed by MIL

Even though this Zoo has such a high variety of animals it is much smaller than the Zoo we have here in my hometown. It does not feel even small as all over the place are enclosures, playgrounds and other points of interest which makes the visit really interesting. Besides that the entrance fee is also pretty low at 10 Euros for an adult. We all enjoyed our visit at Gettorf Zoo and will definitely go back there again this summer with or without MIL. Especially Nathan loves the Zoo, not so much because of the animals but because of the many different playgrounds.

Have you visited a Zoo where you can entere certain animal enclosures?

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11 thoughts on “Gettorf Zoo”

  1. It sounds like an excellent zoo for everyone, especially kids. I think many of us wouldn’t bother to go to the zoo without children. We go to show them the animals, and then we end up enjoying it as much as the kids do. You took some excellent pictures. I love the tropical birds.

    1. I would go to the Zoo even without the kids but not as often as now.
      THe tropical birds were my favorite in that Zoo, especially as they were so “calm” with people around and even came very close or even landed on some people

  2. In China there are several animal parks/zoos where you can walk into the enclosure (at your own risk) and then get devoured by a tiger haha. I guess you heard about those events…

    1. Haha yeah the tiger stories. I know of one in a Zoo I have visited few times near Xi’an. Somehow a father and a son got into the tiger enclosure even though it is secured by huge gates!! (it is a safari were you can drive through)

  3. Sounds like a great place for kids. 🙂 I visited a zoo this weekend too. It was really big, took us about 4 hours to go around the whole zoo. There was a butterfly enclosure where you could walk in and see butterflies flying around and landing on your body 🙂 Monkey enclosures for those small ones were the same like you described too! A tunnel that opened onto a lake and trees. Your MIL sounds funny (and strange of course) making monkey noise haha!
    My favorite part was called “Afrikarium” where they had animals from Africa with a large focus on aquatic animals. Saw penguins swimming underwater for the first time. Fascinating!

    1. Sounds like a very nice zoo you visited! We plan this summer to go still to Hagenbeck Zoo which we have visited in 2014 once. It takes the whole day to get around and there is also a huge Aqua World, can’t wait to see it as we skipped that part last time

  4. It is interesting to hear the zoo lets you get really close to the animals, like even walking around the aviary. I haven’t been to a zoo like that, only been to the ones where if you want to get close, the zookeeper has to follow you closely to make sure the animal is alright. I wonder what is wrong with the caterpillars? They seem very harmless creatures and not scary at all. Maybe your wife just doesn’t like them for some reason.

    The last time I went to the zoo was earlier this summer. I remember there was an open-aired koala enclosure. Unfortunately it was barricaded from a distance but if you looked close enough you could see the koala sleeping in the trees.

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