The beautiful weather is set to continue this weekend with temperatures in Munich expected to hit the 20°C mark. 

What better way to celebrate the start of the new season than with a visit to Hellabrunn Zoo in the October sunshine? Here visitors of all ages can connect with nature and experience the autumnal colours – and the animals who are also enjoying the mild weather. Whether it’s the reticulated giraffes, elephants or silvery gibbons - the animals at Hellabrunn Zoo are enjoying the last warming rays of sunshine in a number of ways. Some bask in the autumn splendour by taking a leisurely bath, while others frolic in their enclosures. The alpine marmots can also been seen sunbathing, as they take advantage of their final days outside before heading to their winter den. In preparation for a long hibernation, these animals fatten up to survive the winter, during which time all of their bodily functions are greatly reduced. They first wake up from their winter slumber in April - and by then they have lost around 50 percent of their body weight.

Other species such as the mountain hares and Arctic foxes are slowly but surely growing on a visible winter coat of thick, white fur. With the path through the facility in the Polar World now reopened, visitors can once again observe the animals up close. Their white fur colour serves primarily as camouflage in the snow. Incidentally, the change in fur colour begins in autumn regardless of the temperature. It is actually due to a change in the number of hours of daylight - as the days get shorter, receptors in the retina trigger a reaction that causes the fur to gradually turn white.

The European wolves, Siberian tigers and Przewalski's horses are also animals that can adapt perfectly to colder temperatures. The robust wild horses can thrive in temperatures well below zero degrees. In extremely cold weather, they can even slow down their metabolic activity to half the springtime level so that they require less food and energy to survive during the season of scarcity in their natural habitat.

“Autumn is a particularly exciting time for zoo guests to observe native and exotic animals at Hellabrunn. The season’s vibrant colours also offer visitors an opportunity to experience the zoo in Munich in a completely new light,” says zoo director Rasem Baban. “When the weather is as beautiful as it is now, nothing beats a golden autumn tour of the zoo.”

Hellabrunn Zoo is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm until the end of October. From 29 October, winter opening times will apply, during which the zoo closes an hour earlier every day, at 5 pm.

Ein Indisches Panzernashorn im Wasser