Saturday, November 3, 2012

Königsberg Tiergarten

Entrance gate 1900


Only four of the zoo's animals survived the Second World War, a deer, a donkey, a badger and a hippopotamus. The hippopotamus was in an especially bad state, having received seven stray bullets when the Red Army stormed the city. The poor animal was found, still alive, in a ditch by the zoo.

Livestock specialist Vladimir Petrovich Polonsky was put in charge of the hippopotamus. From a document in the Kaliningrad archive entitled "History of treatment of the hippopotamus" (probably the report of the livestock specialist) we know that a hippopotamus was nursed back to health.

On June 27, 1947 the zoo celebrated its "second birthday". The collection consisted of only 50 animals, including the recovered hippopotamus. Thanks to the help of other zoos and the Zoological Association, the collection quickly began to grow. Kaliningrad sailors brought back many exotic animals to the zoo.

In 1973 a patronage program was started in which Kaliningrad businesses would sponsor installations or animals in the zoo. Thanks to this practice more than 130 installations were fitted out with pathways, fences, and other necessary elements. In 1980 enclosures were built for mountain animals. In preparation for the 2005 anniversary, the zoo was modernized and equipped with enclosures for tigers, snow leopards and lions.

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