Tiergarten Schönbrunn

Posted by jdg | 12:01 PM

The Vienna Zoo calls itself the oldest in the world, having started as the menagerie of Emperor Francis Stephen in 1752. The thirteen baroque buildings surrounding the one in the photo above are all original, but the rest of the zoo is fairly modern and the animals have surroundings built to resemble their native habitats. It is actually an incredibly beautiful zoo, built to terrace up the hill towards the Schönbrunn Gloriette. I have never been to a zoo with as many exotic species, from two Pandas (a non-artificially-inseminated Panda cub was born here in 2007) to a pair of Orangutans. We visited the zoo twice, first after a morning in the palace, and then we came back the next day with the kids' youngest cousin.

The koalas were the biggest hit, probably because while we were watching them a zookeeper came in to weigh the pair and each one climbed into her arms and hugged her so sweetly as she carried each across the room. I knew right then I was going to be fielding questions about why we can't have a pet koala.

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