Hellabrunn Zoo welcomes its millionth visitor for 2015

On 1 September, a most beautiful summer's day, Carmen Keleti, accompanied by her daughter Isabel (6 years), her good friend Lars Seyfert, and his two children Mia (6 years) and Johnny (3 years) entered Hellabrunn Zoo at 12:10 pm to become the millionth visitor for the year 2015.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn/ Marc Müller

The unsuspecting day-trippers from Garching, on the outskirts of Munich, were warmly welcomed by zoo director Rasem Baban and presented with a colourful summer bouquet by the zoo's press team. But that's not all - initially somewhat taken aback, Carmen and her entourage, who are all fans of Hellabrunn, will also receive a Family Annual Pass, which will allow them to visit their favourite animals as often as they like for the next 365 days. It was a great day - especially for Johnny who had only just started kindergarten this morning.

In 2014, the zoo set a new attendance record of 2,283,739 visitors. It was the first time ever that the two million mark was surpassed, an achievement that helped to produce the best annual financial results in the 103-year-old history of Hellabrunn Zoo. One of the main attractions that contributed to the surge in visitor numbers was the birth of the polar bear twins Nela and Nobby. The recent birth of a rhinoceros baby on 31 August is expected to become the new favourite for visitors in 2015.

Hardly able to believe her luck, the surprise rendered Carmen Keleti almost speechless. "At first I thought I was illegally parked!” she laughs. “We come to Hellabrunn about once every two months and today we decided to take advantage of the good weather. Mia loves the penguins, Isabel the polar bears, and Johnny's favourite animals are the monkeys - so everyone is happy.” Then Isabel insists that she would like to see all the animals. And so, after receiving the unexpected honour, the good-humoured group continue on their tour of the zoo.