Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Austria)
Tiergarten Schönbrunn (literally, “Schönbrunn Zoo”), or “Vienna Zoo“, is a zoo located on the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. Founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, it is the oldest zoo in the Western world (Montezuma’s amazing aviary, zoo and botanical gardens in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan [Mexico City], was described by Spanish conquistadors, who first saw it in 1519). Today, Tiergarten Schönbrunn is considered and regards itself as a scientifically administered zoo which sees its main purpose as a centre for species conservation and general nature conservation as well as in the fulfillment of the education mandate given to it by the legislation. The still preserved buildings of the baroque era, which have been complemented in the last years by elements of modern zoo architecture, still convey a good impression of the 18th century menagerie-buildings after the Versailles model.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn is one of the few zoos worldwide to house giant pandas. The zoo’s pandas are named Yang Yang (F), Long Hui (M), Fu Long (M), and Fu Hu (M). Fu Long’s birth on 23 August 2007 was the first natural insemination panda birth in Europe. Fu Hu was born exactly 3 years later, and he was also conceived by natural mating. One more panda cub, Fu Bao (福豹), was born nearly three years later on 14 August 2013 via natural mating. On August 7th 2016, Panda cub twins Fu Feng and Fu Ban were born.
Other zoo attractions include a rainforest house, in which the spectator is led through a simulation of the Amazon rainforest, an aquarium, which enables spectators to walk through underneath a simulation of the Amazon in flood, and, more recently, an exhibit of animals in unnatural habitats. The new polarium for animals of the Arctic region was opened in early 2004.
From its privatization in 1992, it has been led by Helmut Pechlaner, also president of WWF Austria, who managed to modernize most parts of the zoo and sustain its financial situation. Nowadays, as of 2014, the zoo is managed by Dagmar Schratter.
Private and corporate sponsorship for the various animals is one of the methods employed by the zoo today, along with bookable night excursions and special children’s programs. Zoological research takes place at the zoo