The ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen, founded on April 14, 1949, as "Ruhr-Zoo", is one of the most modern zoological gardens in Germany. It was founded on a heavily shelled area besides a port at Rhein-Herne-Kanal. First size was 15.5 hectares. First years animals were changing often, because they were provided by an animal trader.
Now the park is owned by the City of Gelsenkirchen via GEW – Gesellschaft für Energie und Wirtschaft mbH, (society for energy and business, a holding of municipal ownership)
After 2004 the park was enlarged to the present size.
It is especially well known for its panoramas and cultural approach.
The main attractions are big animals, mostly mammals; the zoo has no aquarium house, insectarium or other facilities prone to smaller animals.
The number prior to 2005 reflects average visitor frequency of the old Ruhr-Zoo.
Concept and layout
The entrance area resembles characteristics of a Westphalian farm and is called Grimberger Hof (opened 2004). Its yard offers access to the three separated areas of the park. These are called "safaris" and titled Alaska (opened 2005), Afrika (opened 2006) and Asien (opened 2010).
All Safaris are accessible through gates in a matching style with a shop delivering related paraphernalia.
The entrance area is designed as a farm and features some rare species of domesticated animals like Danish Protest Pig, a restaurant, a playground, a shop for memorabilia and a petting zoo.
It features mainly on nearctic ekozone wildlife with presentation of polar bear, moose, Californian sea lion with a tunnel under the basin and beaver in landscaped habitats.
The area is decorated with American road signs, a school bus, a cave resembling a gold mine and other touristic features. Besides another open-air restaurant a multimedia show with animated floor raises the illusion of riding an ice floe.
This safari features most of the popular big animals from the Sub-Saharan Africa. Lions and zebras can be seen within the same panorama. A pond with flamingos, a rocky landscape for monkeys and an area with hippos (which are separated from the visitors by means of invisible underwater fences) can be traveled by tow boat ride called African Queen.
Besides wild animals the entrance area displays some domesticated forms like Ankole-Watusi.
The area features another open-air restaurant and a big playground.
Asia features mainly a big hall with tropical climate, home of orangutans, gray langurs, flying foxes, orchids, palm trees and more. It also includes a big indoor playground and a restaurant with some Asian kitchen.
Further attractions are a monkey palace, Bactrian camels and (displayed since summer 2013) Siberian tigers.
- official internet site of ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen