Winter wonderland Hellabrunn: Munich zoo covered in white blanket of snow
The arrival of the first snowfall at Hellabrunn Zoo creates a special atmosphere: while outdoors many of the native and tropical animals can be seen enjoying the first snow of the year, inside the Elephant House, Jungle Pavilion and Jungle World the pleasantly warm temperatures leave visitors with a feeling of wanderlust.
Winter has finally arrived in Munich, spreading its wintry white across Hellabrunn Zoo. The residents with thick winter fur such as the wood bison, the Mesopotamian fallow deer and the polar bear are naturally suited to the cold and icy temperatures. But other animals such as Puri, the rhino calf, the Siberian tigers and the elephants at Hellabrunn also love playing in the snow.
Temi, Mangala, Panang and Steffi are allowed to roam outside in the snow for about an hour a day. They then spend the rest of the day in the warmth of the new Elephant House to ensure they do not catch cold. The new Elephant House not only offers warmth to the four pachyderms, visitors touring the zoo can take a break from the cold by stepping inside and, with a bit of luck, watch the elephants swimming in their 25 °C heated swimming pool.
Even the baboons venture out occasionally into the snow to watch the winter magic. But other primates such as the Western lowland gorillas and the Sumatran orangutans prefer the warmth of their animal houses - for them, it is now much too cold outside.
For zoo director Rasem Baban, winter at Hellabrunn is always a special time of year: "Those who visit Hellabrunn in winter will be rewarded with extraordinary observations. While some animals throw themselves into the snow with delight, others approach it very cautiously."
Visitors on a tour of Hellabrunn this winter will also find it worthwhile to stop from time to time to savour the snow-covered landscape. And with a little luck you may spot in the midst of the snow and ice a colourful kingfisher on the banks of the Auer Mühlbach river.