Germany: New Close-to-Nature Habitat for Indian Rhinos to be Developed at Berlin Zoo
v.l. Frank Bruckmann, Ramona Pop, Andreas Knieriem & Kieran Stanley©Zoo BerlinOn an area of around 14,000 square metres, surrounded by numerous trees, a new enslosure for Indian rhinos is being built at Berlin Zoo, which will also be home to tapirs and pustel pigs in the future. After the foundations for the habitat had already been poured, Berlin Zoo now celebrated the official groundbreaking ceremony for the facility and sank a time capsule on this occasion containing an animal sign, construction plans, the funding decision as well as pictures and handicrafts. In order to create a near-natural facility that corresponds to the marshy habitat of the endangered rhino species, watercourses, wallows and several bathing ponds will be integrated into the facility. The Berlin-based company dan pearlman is responsible for the architecture and open space planning of the new rhino facility.
“According to estimates, there are only around 2,600 Indian rhinos left in the wild. When this time capsule is opened at some point in several decades, we naturally hope that this number will be much higher. For the sake of our animals and the protection of their conspecifics in their natural habitat, it is worth taking this – sometimes challenging – path,“ comments Dr. Andreas Knieriem, Zoo and Animal Park director. A 25-metre-high tower will be built in the centre of the new enclosure, which will be a modern interpretation of the historic Elephant Pagoda, which was built in 1873 and destroyed during the Second World War. Completion is planned for autumn 2022, visitors will be able to experience the new habitat from 2023 on when the animals have settled in. (eap)