13 Nov 2023

Zurich Zoo: Building Permit for the Pantanal Aviary Confirmed

(eap) An appeal against the building permit granted in 2022 for the “Pantanal Aviary” project at Zurich Zoo was lodged by a small group of the zoo’s neighbors. The Appellate Court has now announced its decision: the permit for the construction of the Pantanal Aviary has been confirmed. The course is now set for the ground-breaking ceremony to take place in May 2024 and the opening in spring 2028 if the judgement is not appealed.

Endangered bird species such as the hyacinth macaw will live in the planned Pantanal aviary, which will cover an area of around 11,000 square metres. In the planned large aviary, which will be modelled on the South American wetland, flocks of birds will be able to move freely in an air space up to 35 metres high and fulfil their natural need to fly. The design of such habitats in zoos is in line with the understanding of modern animal husbandry in scientifically managed zoos, as Zoo Zurich Director Dr Severin Dressen emphasises: “We want to be able to meet all the needs of our animals in the best possible way. This favourable decision by the Appellate Court encourages us on our path to becoming the zoo of the future and is extremely gratifying!”

The planned new aviary is also linked to a project to protect the hyacinth macaws in Brazil, which are endangered due to various environmental influences. “Our visitors can become part of the Pantanal community in the walk-through aviary, be at eye level with birds and feel the diversity of the landscape. This personal experience sensitises them, leaves a lasting impression and brings them closer to nature conservation,” explains Dressen. Find out more about Zurich Zoo’s vision for the future in our article “A world for humans and animals”, published in EAP issue 1/2022. ■

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