First of all Heidelberg is such a beautiful town.  It’s not a city but it is very big, it sits in a valley between two mountains, allowing a layer of fog to settle, making it annoyingly to get clear photos most of the time but equally giving it a sort of mythical look, especially as the fog engulfed the castle.

A gloomy Heidelberg

Originally I had no plans to ever go to Germany but somehow I became great friends with a few Germans, so it was inevitable I’d eventually end up visiting. Luckily I didn’t I have to find anywhere to stay as a friend whom I was visiting allowed me to share her room.

My first time visiting a zoo outside of the UK.  Although I was wary of other countries having less strict rules on animal welfare, Germany however is still a country that has a well developed society and therefore should be more educated to care for the needs of wild animals.

Me and my friend got to the zoo by bus as there was a stop right outside the zoo. The first thing you can see from the streets before you even go in are brown bears.

The price was reasonable enough and near the front of the zoo, that first caught my eye, was a coastal bird enclosure with inca terns and avocets as well as other shore birds including ruffs and oystercatchers. It also happened to be a walk in enclosure which just allowed you to see the birds’ and especially the inca terns’ beauty up close. I had never seen this species of tern before and quite honestly they were amazing looking. The moustache or whiskers definitely catch everyone’s eyes and I would have to say they are one of the coolest birds I have ever seen.

The magnificent moustache of an Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

The zoo is home to the two biggest cats in the world, the lion and the tiger. They were right next to each other and shared an indoor viewing area. Two tigers and lions each although I do think the enclosures they were in were a little too small. Despite this, the lions were getting a rather large expansion but the tigers weren’t and were showing sever signs of boredom i.e. pacing. Also a little distance away was an equally impressive cat, the European lynx, its paws were massive and it was just awesome. Safe to say I fell in love with it, the power it showed & it’s stare was amazing.

We had lunch by a group of sea lions, the male of the group was huge and much larger than you could imagine. They were just circling the pool while we were there, with them breaching the surface every now and then, which I would try to predict and take a photo of one (failing many times).

Another main attraction of the zoo was a small group of Asian elephants. Elephants, as you should know, are very intelligent and social animals, so it was very interesting to watch them interact with each other. One of the elephants had a small rag that it had found and was playing with it much to the visible annoyance of one of the others.

Heidelberg zoo is a very small zoo, which is what you would expect. But there were a lot of animal species that I had never seen before which was a massive positive. It also didn’t seem that popular when I went which was in November as it was practically empty but I would recommend going here.

For more information and even a list of the species at the zoo:

www.zoo-heidelberg.de


Also check out my photos from the zoo and up at the castle

Heidelberg & Heidelberg Zoo

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