Hellabrunn welcomes one millionth visitor of 2017

At 10:45 am on 21 June, Anneliese and Manfred Schmallenbach parked their bikes in front of the Isar entrance of the zoo. Little did they know that as they entered the gates on this beautiful summer's day, Mrs Schmallenbach would become the one millionth visitor at Hellabrunn Zoo in 2017.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn

Mr and Mrs Schmallenbach are on holiday in Munich. They have come from the town of Waldbröl in Bergisches Land - between Cologne and Siegen - to spend a week in the city. After two day excursions by bike to Lake Ammersee and Lake Starnberger See, they decided to take a break from cycling and visit Hellabrunn Zoo. The unsuspecting Mrs Schmallenbach and her husband were pleasantly surprised as zoo director Rasem Baban and the press team greeted them with a colourful bouquet. "We have visited many zoos in Germany, but this is our first time at Hellabrunn Zoo," says Anneliese Schmallenbach. "And what a welcome!" Manfred Schmallenbach adds: "This is such a wonderful surprise! You'd never expect anything like this."

"We had the privilege of welcoming our one millionth visitor to Hellabrunn Zoo today, just under three weeks earlier than in 2016,” says zoo director Rasem Baban. “The many days of sunshine and mild temperatures, promising a perfect day out at the zoo, as well as our female polar bear cub Quintana have this year once again made Hellabrunn a popular excursion destination for locals and tourists alike."

Anneliese and Manfred Schmallenbach, both in retirement, love nature and were amazed by the many green trees in Hellabrunn. "This looks almost like in our garden," laughs Mrs Schmallenbach. "You can always find a shady spot in these hot temperatures." Mr Schmallenbach's  favourite animal is the elephant . The couple have already visited Gajendra's offspring at Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg. "I'm now looking forward to see the big bull elephant," says Manfred Schmallenbach. The lucky couple then head in the direction of the Elephant House.