Antwerp Zoo is one of the old­est zoos in the world and one of Antwer­p’s most pop­u­lar attrac­tions. With an ani­mal pop­u­la­tion of over 5,000 from over 950 dif­fer­ent species, it attracts around a mil­lion vis­i­tors each year.

antwerp zoo

The entry is from place: Bel­gium

History of creation and expansion

The Roy­al Soci­ety of Zool­o­gy was found­ed in 1843. It pur­chased four acres of land out­side the Span­ish walls, next to the East Sta­tion. In 1904, the small East Sta­tion was replaced by the cur­rent Cen­tral Sta­tion. The New Antwerp Zoo con­tin­ued to expand through­out the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry until it cov­ered an area of ​​about 26 acres. A new expan­sion was recent­ly announced that will add 15,000 sq. m to the exist­ing zoo.

Dur­ing the expan­sion of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, sev­er­al “exot­ic style” build­ings were built to house the ani­mals. One of the most remark­able build­ings is the 1856 Egypt­ian Tem­ple, which is cur­rent­ly home to giraffes. It was mod­eled after the 1854 “Egypt­ian Court” at the Crys­tal Palace in Lon­don. The hiero­glyphs sym­bol­ize the rela­tion­ship between the Roy­al Soci­ety of Zool­o­gy and the city of Antwerp.

zoo history
After World War II, the zoo was reor­ga­nized to cre­ate a “mod­el zoo” with more empha­sis on edu­ca­tion and more space and light for the ani­mals. In the last cou­ple of decades, the zoo has begun to focus more and more on cre­at­ing biotopes where ani­mals can roam more or less freely.

Antwerp Zoo Animals

The Antwerp Zoo­log­i­cal Gar­den con­tains a stud­book for five ani­mals, includ­ing the okapi. This ani­mal was intro­duced to the zoo short­ly after its dis­cov­ery in the Con­go. The zoo still has sev­er­al of these strange ani­mals with long tongues. More than 75% of cap­tive okapi live in Antwerp. Some oth­er notable ani­mals from the +900 species include the polar bear, Siber­ian tigers, Indi­an lions, Ara­bi­an oryx, Indi­an ele­phants, goril­las, bison, orang­utans, croc­o­diles, baby pan­das, koalas, pan­thers, sharks.

See also
Tungnath: the highest Shiva temple in the world

giraffes in the zoo

Oth­er attrac­tions include a plan­e­tar­i­um, a con­ser­va­to­ry, a bird­house, a rep­tile build­ing, nik­tu­ra­ma (noc­tur­nal ani­mals), an aquar­i­um and the new­ly cre­at­ed Vries­land (“freez­ing land”): a biotope with sea otters, king pen­guins and oth­er ani­mals. A new­ly added biotope is the “bog­land” where you can see the habi­tat of the hip­popota­mus, tapirs, pel­i­cans and some oth­er ani­mals. The Antwerp Zoo had a dol­phi­nar­i­um with a few dol­phins, but the pool was too small, so sea lions replaced the dol­phins. The for­mer dol­phin show has now been replaced by the very pop­u­lar sea lion show.

An inter­est­ing selec­tion is the best zoos in the world on Life­Globe.

zoo animals

Antwerp Zoo also has a chil­dren’s cor­ner — a play­ground with small ani­mals that chil­dren can touch. There are also sev­er­al restau­rants and a shop on site. If you are not inter­est­ed in ani­mals, you can vis­it the excep­tion­al­ly well-kept gar­dens. Many of the gar­dens are dec­o­rat­ed with beau­ti­ful sculp­tures made from flow­ers and shrubs. This is the most beau­ti­ful gar­den in Antwerp.

antwerp zoo

When vis­it­ing the zoo, make sure you have at least half a day left, as there is a lot going on here. In addi­tion, you will receive a map of the zoo with a feed­ing sched­ule for the ani­mals at the entrance. The entrance to the zoo is locat­ed on Place Astrid, next to the Cen­tral Sta­tion.

zebra in the park