Spring is in the air at Hellabrunn Zoo
Spring has finally arrived at Hellabrunn, although the cold snaps have lingered much longer than normal. Nature is awakening, everything is green and blooming - and there are already many new births in the animal enclosures.
After a long, cold winter, the animals and plants at Hellabrunn are finally enjoying the spring sunshine in Munich and looking forward to the approaching summer. One of the most resplendent examples of the irrepressible spring fever and the associated mating activities is the courtship display of the peacocks – showing off their iridescent feathers to attract peahens. The silvery gibbons, an endangered species, and the only ones living in a German zoo, can be observed frolicking on their island, while the ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar enjoy sunbathing.
The zoo has witnessed an increasing number of births this spring. In the last few weeks, for example, a new calf was born to the North American wood bison. The baby bull weighing 40 kg appears almost like a cuddly toy when standing next to his powerfully built father who tips the scales at just over 900 kg. Visitors to the Przewalski wild horses’ spacious enclosure will now be able to see a small foal running around with the herd. Przewalski’s horses were completely wipe out in the wild by the mid-20th century and were only saved from total extinction by captive breeding in zoos. The same applies to the graceful dama gazelles, which have already given birth to four fawns this year. And with a little patience on a visit to Hellabrunn’s kangaroo enclosure, you may be able to spot small ears protruding from the pouch of an agile wallaby mother as well as from the pouch of a new red kangaroo mum.
Many of the birds at the zoo are currently breeding and the first chicks can already be found in their nests. So it is worth observing the flamingos and pelicans and wait for the moment when the parents rise from their nest. Those who like particularly cute feathered offspring should check out the “Jungle World” between the tropical plants to catch a glimpse of the tiny crested partridge chicks.
This year's list of births is almost as varied as the inventory of animals at Hellabrunnn Zoo. But one thing unites all the animals born at Hellabrunn: The name of every animal born in 2016 at the zoo will begin with the letter “Q”. With a letter allocated for each year, this makes it easy to quickly determine the age of any animal many years later, without having to consult the animal database.
On Whitsun and Whit Monday, special activities include three face painting stations hosted by the Hellabrunn Support Group, which offers children the opportunity to have their faces painted as fabulous sea creatures, dangerous tigers or colourful butterflies – and once painted to add even more colour to the zoo.