Tag Archives: Zoo

The Arche Warder

Over the past years we have visited a few zoos in China, Finland and in Germany. We visit especially often the local zoo here in my hometown. Not that we are so fascinated by it but it is a nice little family tour and it is for free for us. Yes, for free as I receive each year from my brother a family card for the zoo so we can go whenever we want there and pay no entrance fee. Anyhow this summer we noticed that it would be nice to go to some new place and this is how I found out about the Arche Warder (Ark Warder). For one it is just 15 minutes away from us by car (I really wonder why I never heard about it before!) and it is more than just a normal zoo.

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Oh no the goats are coming, run for your life!

This zoo is so different as they are specialized on old breeds of livestock which are not used anymore these days and hence are endangered. Some of the animals are even as rare as the Siberian Tiger! Sure it might not be as exciting as other zoos for some people but for us it is a great place, especially with kids. Right when you enter some goats and sheep are coming and waiting to get some attention from the humans. Have you ever patted a sheep? They are sooo fluffy! Also so many animals had still some young ones around, just imagine some piglets running crazily around and making their cute sounds. My wife and Nathan loved particularly one certain baby goat which was so tiny, they tried their best to give it some food but the evil grown ups pushed always in between. Near the entrance is also a wooden cow and you can test your skill in milking it (okay only water coming out but what you expect of a fake cow!!). Lets just say that my wife and my dear mother-in-law did not manage to get any drop out, not even after I explained how to do it properly.

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The zoo has a wonderful layout with much nature around

I believe that the animals have a rather good life there. Not just because they get fed all the time what they need but because they have also huge enclosures . Arche Warder is aiming at protecting these old livestock breeds by having breeding projects and don’t just present the animals like in normal zoos. The whole atmosphere was very nice as also the staff busy with cleaning and feeding greeted each person passing by. At the pig enclosures they had a funny feature, an information board where you could press a button and they would “imitate” the sound of the certain pig breed. It is incredible how many different breeds there are and how huge some of them can become. It is in general just surprising how many old livestock breeds exists and how they changed during the decades. Also the information you get there from the staff is great, who would have thought that Pekin Ducks are excellent pets who can build up the same kind of bond with humans what usually only dogs achieve.

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Oh them cute piglets

You can also support the zoo and have your name then engraved in a wooden pole in a designated area visible for any visitor going around. I would love to support them but this has to wait for some later years as we still have some plans going on at the moment. Right now I hope that we can go there this year again together with my parents. Perhaps they are better in milking the cow than MIL…

More Information about Arche Warder you can also find here on their webpage which has even a page in English

Have you visited a park/ zoo which is aiming in protecting old livestock breeds?

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Neumünster Zoo

Another blog post about a Zoo? Yes, as you can see I really do love to visit those places. This particular Zoo is a pretty small one here in my hometown. During my childhood I have been there very often and in the past years also again several times with my wife and some friends. The best thing about this Zoo is that it is close by, really just 15 min by bicycle or 5 min by car.

It has been found 1951 as a place where only animals from this region were shown. They kept this idea for a long time but later expanded and have now also monkeys, polar bears and penguins. The entire place is located within a part of the local forest which gives you a different feeling for the place than other Zoos which are normaly not so heavily grown into a forest.

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The polar bear died few months later due to high age

 

At least during my childhood the little shoats (baby boars) were able to squeeze below the fence and ran crazily around harassing visitors to give them some food. I don’t know if it still the case as I have been in the Zoo in the past years only during winter time. Another nice thing there is the Barbary macaque enclosure as you can enter it and walk on a path through. Usually all the Barbary apes will come to the path expecting some food or just try to grab anything you have in your hands.

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Barbary ape posing with her child

 

All the pictures are from our visit there in 2010. I believe it was the first time for me there in over 10 years and much had changed such as the new penguin enclosure and the monkey park. As you can see there are goats…many goats, too many goats! The goat world is located next to an old farm building and is very popular with the kids (nearly as popular as the playground). You can enter the enclosure and feed the goats but often you have to watch out that those demon animals don’t get too greedy as they might follow you later on through half of the park (did I mention that they can leave their enclosure?). Now that I think about it there are actually few animals enclosures you can enter and feed the animals with the food bought at the ticket office.

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My brothers girlfriends best friend at the Zoo

 

Even though this is just a small Zoo with very limited funds they still manage to keep everything well maintained unlike the Chinese ones I have been to so far. The animals seem to be taken good care of and nowhere is trash to be found except of course the trash bins. Especially the trash thing however might be more related on the general attitude of the people as in China I even saw some throwing trash and even cigarettes on the animals.

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Gaots AND Geese chaising us!

 

In May few Chinese friends from Finland will come over for a week or so and I had the idea to visit the Zoo with them. During that time also MIL will be still with us so we can just leave her in the goat enclosure as she seems to like it with those animals.  Hopefully she will stay there for some time but I still believe dropping her at the Outlet Center for a week is the more effective way to get rid of her for a while.

 

 

Do you know any small Zoo’s such as this one?

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Hagenbeck Zoo

Some basics

Its been now over a week that we have been in Germany. I barely had time to read through other great blogs or to even make some drafts for new articles. The past week has been busy with renovation work such as carrying a lot of the previous owner’s furniture out, cleaning the roof in the apartment due to 40 years of smoking inside, ripping the wallpapers of and tiles from the kitchen and bathroom. All this does not appear to be that much but it was each day 12 hours of work. And believe it or not, mother-in-law was helping us pretty much with the wallpapers!

The Zoo

Even though we were so busy we had time to visit Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg. It is a pretty famous Zoo which started out 1863 and was officially founded in 1907, furthermore those open enclosures for animals which are often used now were “developed” there. The park is also pretty big for a Zoo which is nowadays within the borders of a big city. It spans over 25 hectares (~62 Acres) with all kinds of animals from around the world. On the premises itself many animals such as peacocks, chickens and the Patagonian mara are running around freely so in some lucky cases you can even touch them.

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Besides the main Zoo there is also the Tropical-Aquarium however we were not able to go there as it took us already nearly 6 hours to go around the park and in the end we just were too exhausted. I would have loved to go to this Tropical-Aquarium as I had heard many good things about but maybe next time, as we will live after this summer only around 40 min away from Hamburg.

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The Animals

It was very nice to go around as you have rarely and cage bars or similar in between the animals and yourself (actually only the bird enclosures have to safety measurements). We had a good view at each enclosure and could see all of the animals. I am saying this as I have been in many Zoos before where I saw in the whole day maybe only a handful of animals.

At Hagenbeck are Tigers, Lions, Bears, Horses, Giraffes, penguins, Orangutans, Elephants and and and, especially nice it was at the Elephant enclosure as most of them were standing at the moats and the visitors could feed them (with food sold near the enclosure, so no bad stuff here) and even touch their trunks. To prevent any kind of accidents several Park employees were standing behind the animals to check that nothing happens or that anyone gives them some bad food.

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Tiger going around
Meet the Alpaca
Meet the Alpaca

My wife also enjoyed her favorite animal, the Alpaca. Especially the Chinese “nickname” for the animals is pretty amusing 草泥马,cao ni ma which made the alpaca famous in Chinese forums. Mother-in-law also found some new friends, the goats. In the Zoo you can enter the goat enclosure and also feed them. As soon as she saw that you can enter the cage she ran in and we pretty much had to drag her out of there to go on…

Mother-in-law and the goats
Mother-in-law and the goats

Our little baby

We were there with the whole family so naturaly little Nathan had to come with us. We left our pram in Finland so I had to use some kind of baby carrier for the chest. Thankfully he is only around 6 kg at the moment so I managed the day relatively pain-free but as Nathan is only 7 weeks old he did not really see any animal. He was more concerned with sleeping the entire time. Later, when he is old enough we will go there again!

What to remember

We were a medium sized group (7+baby) but already this size can get annoying at time as some people prefer walking onwards wheras others want to check out the animals for some longer time.

Furthermore you should eat before going to the Zoo or have something small with you. Not that the prices in the Zoo for food are that high but because there are just too many people lining up to buy food. Besides, lining up for the food and eating it adds up easily to one hour of lost time you could spend going around.

What a cute thing!
What a cute thing!

For some further information check wikipedia or the German website