The best year of Prague Zoo

News

31. 12. 2016


This year, 1,448,353 visitors came to Prague Zoo. That's a record for the most visitors in one year in the history of the zoo. 2016 was very successful in all areas. Here are the “top ten” highlights.

Two elephant males were born in Prague Zoo during 2016. The first one called Max was born on April 5th (on the right) and half a year later, Rudolf was born on October 7th. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo Two elephant males were born in Prague Zoo during 2016. The first one called Max was born on April 5th (on the right) and half a year later, Rudolf was born on October 7th. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

 #ibisdozoo

On the night of March 1st, one of the aviaries was damaged due to the weight of recent heavy snow, and 18 Northern Bald Ibises escaped to Prague and its surroundings. The director of Prague Zoo immediately asked the citizens of Prague for their help and, thanks to their reports and the huge efforts of zoo employees and volunteers from the public, all 18 were returned to the zoo. The whole campaign was united under the #ibisdozoo (ibis to the zoo) hashtag. According to media specialists, it was a brilliant example of good crisis communication and the campaign was evaluated among the five best media campaigns of the year.

It took two weeks to gather all the escaped Northern Bald Ibises back into the Prague Zoo. In the picture we can see one of them being captured in Říčany. Photo Rudolf FlachsIt took two weeks to gather all the escaped Northern Bald Ibises back into the Prague Zoo. In the picture we can see one of them being captured in Říčany. Photo Rudolf Flachs

In the memory of the founder of Prague Zoo

On March 25th, the unveiling of professor Jiří Janda's (1865-1938) bust took place during the 85th season opening ceremony. After many long years, he finally has a decent memorial in Prague Zoo. On the same day, we also began our unique elephant paper production using the elephants' excrements.

Professor Jiří Janda dedicated a considerable part of his life to the foundation of Prague Zoo and also became its first director. Photo: Archive of Prague ZooProfessor Jiří Janda dedicated a considerable part of his life to the foundation of Prague Zoo and also became its first director. Photo: Archive of Prague Zoo

"Made in Prague"

On the morning of April 5th, a male baby elephant was born to his mother, Janita. The birth was successful thanks to the assistance of the breeders. It is the very first elephant that was not only born here, but also conceived here after more than 80 years of elephant breeding in Prague Zoo. In June, the little elephant was solemnly named Maxmilián (after the Habsburg emperor Maxmilián II) in the presence of the foreign minister of Srí Lanka Mangala Samaraweera and Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek.

"Made in Prague": three-day-old elephant Max. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo"Made in Prague": three-day-old elephant Max. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

Miracle in the Gorilla Pavilion

On April 23rd, a gorilla male called Ajabu (meaning miracle in Swahili) was born to a gorilla called Shinda. The twenty-four-year old female suffered several miscarriages in the past and nobody believed she could become a mother. The unexpected birth was a huge surprise, not only for the public, but also for the employees of the zoo themselves.

A little male gorilla, Ajabu, was unexpectedly born to twenty-four-year-old Shinda. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooA little male gorilla, Ajabu, was unexpectedly born to twenty-four-year-old Shinda. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Double transportation of Przewalski wild horses

Prague Zoo, in cooperation with the Army of the Czech Republic, transported another four mares in the sixth transport of Przewalski wild horses to the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area in Mongolia. This time, the transport was followed by another one inside Mongolia. Three mares and one stallion were transported from the Chustaj National Park to Gobi B. So far, Prague Zoo, together with the Army of the Czech Republic, has transported 27 Przewalski horses to Mongolia.

Night releasing of Przewalski horses to an acclimatization paddock in Gobi. Photo: Václav Šilha, Prague ZooNight releasing of Przewalski horses to an acclimatization paddock in Gobi. Photo: Václav Šilha, Prague Zoo

An Important step in the development of Prague Zoo

In August, the Prague City Council approved the development concept of Prague Zoo. In future years, the zoological garden plans to build a new Gorilla Pavilion, an Exposition of Australian fauna, a new Exposition for Polar Bears and a pavilion for Giant Pandas.

The Prague City Hall also started to consider the improvement of the transportation to Prague Zoo.

In future years Prague Zoo plans to construct an Exposition of Australian Fauna. The “stars” of this exposition should be the Tasmanian Devils. This photo was taken in the Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooIn future years Prague Zoo plans to construct an Exposition of Australian Fauna. The “stars” of this exposition should be the Tasmanian Devils. This photo was taken in the Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

Two elephant emperors

Two elephants were born in Prague Zoo in one year! That's a success nobody was even dreaming about just a couple of years ago. The second elephant baby is also a male and was born on October 7th. His mother Tamara gave birth without any complications and there was no need to assist her. The little elephant male was named Rudolf (after the emperor Rudolf II) and therefore we now have two “elephant emperors” in Prague Zoo.

Three-week-old elephant male, Rudolf, together with older elephant baby, Max. Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooThree-week-old elephant male, Rudolf, together with older elephant baby, Max. Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Dr. Jane Goodall in Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo, in cooperation with the Science Faculty of Charles University, invited the legendary primatologist and wildlife protector, Dr. Jane Goodall to Prague. During her walk around Prague Zoo she especially enjoyed the Gorilla Pavilion. She also highly appreciated Wandering Bus, a project run by Prague Zoo in Cameroon, and showed an interest in cooperation.

More information HERE.

In December, Prague Zoo was visited by legendary primatologist and wildlife protector, Jane Goodall. Photo Václav Šilha, Prague ZooIn December, Prague Zoo was visited by legendary primatologist and wildlife protector, Jane Goodall. Photo Václav Šilha, Prague Zoo

The "Holy grail" of herpetologists

Prague Zoo managed to obtain a very rare and valuable lizard species, the Earless Monitor Lizard. These lizards, native to the island of Borneo, are very mysterious creatures. Only a couple of experts have had the privilege to see them in the wild. Prague Zoo currently owns a group of seven lizards and would like to take part in the development of a European Endangered Species Program for Earless Monitor Lizards in order to establish a sustainable population of these endangered animals in captivity.

More information HERE.

A female Earless Monitor Lizard can be seen in the exposition of nocturnal animals in the Indonesian Jungle pavilion. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooA female Earless Monitor Lizard can be seen in the exposition of nocturnal animals in the Indonesian Jungle pavilion. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

The highest attendance in the history of Prague Zoo

The year 2016 was full of records. Prague Zoo welcomed the one millionth visitor on August 16th. On Sunday, December 4th, the new record of 1,400,000 visitors was established as the highest number of visitors in one year since the opening of Prague Zoo in 1931. The previous record was from the year 2014 when 1,138,243 people visited the Prague Zoo. In 2016, 1,323 animals were born or hatched from 229 species of mammals, birds and lizards.

In 2016 Prague Zoo welcomed 1,448,353 visitors! Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooIn 2016 Prague Zoo welcomed 1,448,353 visitors! Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo