Golden autumn at Hellabrunn Zoo
A stroll through Hellabrunn Zoo in autumn awash with spectacular colourful foliage is a wonderful pleasure. Animal residents such as the Siberian tigers Ahimsa and Jegor, the baby rhino Puri and the yak calf Pedro love to romp around in the rustling red, yellow and gold leaves. A last hurrah before the cold winter.
Searching for the last warm rays of sun, many of the animals at Hellabrunn Zoo are enjoying autumn by relaxing in the sunny spots of their enclosures. This behaviour is, above all, evident with the spider monkeys and the orangutans. The agile wallaby, a species of wallaby found in northern and eastern Australia, but rarely encountered in zoos, enjoys the sun in a quiet spot on a bed of golden brown leaves. Other animals, such as the elephants and the elegant mhorr gazelles seem to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures by putting on a special show. Visitors can see the elephants rush into their bathing pool or the gazelles strutting gracefully in their enclosure.
The season also witnessed several births at the zoo, including three capybara pups born just a few days ago. The rodents from the tropical and subtropical regions of South America are the largest in the world. As Munich's autumnal temperatures are too cool for the young pups, they are currently visible with their parents in the house next to the South America exhibit. Visitors can get up close to the rodents and watch them at play, separated only by a glass panel. The Asian nilgai also gave birth to three calves in September. The young antelopes create a colourful confetti of autumnal foliage whenever they run around in the fallen leaves.
But for some animals, the winter can't come fast enough. Hellabrunn residents such as the wood bison, moose and wolves simply grow a winter coat of thick fur. The moose is currently still in rutting season. During this period the bull moose can be observed rubbing their magnificent antlers on trees or shrubs or fighting with each other, particularly as it is the mating season. In addition to the leaves changing colour, another sign of the dawn of the new season is the coat of the Arctic fox, which changes colour from brown to white to blend in with the snow for the approaching winter.
And then there are some animals that look forward to winter so they can have a long, long sleep: Olga, the brown bear, the marmots and prairie dogs in the America enclosure use the autumn to find a winter den to hibernate for the cold months.
"Autumn is a very exciting time for visitors to observe domestic and exotic animals at the zoo," says Hellabrunn's zoo director Rasem Baban. “The colourful foliage gives them an opportunity to experience Hellabrunn in a completely different light. If the weather remains as fantastic as it is now, visitors will be able to enjoy a golden autumn stroll in the zoo."
Winter opening times at Hellabrunn Zoo?
26 October 2015 – 18 March 2016, daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm