Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is the world’s oldest zoo still in existence and has already been voted Europe’s best zoo on four occasions. Each year more than two million visitors come to see the panda baby,
newborn elephants and many other rare animals.
In the summer of 1752, Emperor Franz I. Stephan von Lothringen, Maria Theresia's husband, took his royal guests to the newly constructed menagerie in the park at Schönbrunn Palace for the first time. Ever since then, the world's oldest zoo has been operating in Vienna.
In 1906, Schönbrunn was the site of a sensational event: This zoo in Vienna was the first place worldwide to see the birth of an African elephant conceived in human care. The next world premiere followed in 2007: For the first time ever, a panda baby that was naturally conceived in a zoo by the name of Fu Long was born in Schönbrunn. In August 2010 the second bear cub was born, in August 2013 the third. The next generation of elephants also arrived in September 2013.
Today the Zoo at Schönbrunn is considered one of the best and most modern zoos in the world. The animal compounds have a particularly generous and natural design. More than 500 animal species - from Siberian tigers and hippos to one-horned rhinoceroses - live here. Highlights include the giant Rainforest House, the large South American Area and the ORANG.erie, which is the new home of Vienna's orang-utans. The Nature Experience Trail was opened in spring 2010. May 2014 witnessed the return of polar bears to the zoo: The new enclosure, called “Franz Josef Land", covers 1,700 m² and provides the white giants with enough space to romp around in. The bears can also be watched diving for the first time. New and extensive enclosures and animal houses are added each year. But the zoo's historic charm is always preserved.
Special tours and workshops provide information about the animal kingdom. And the zoo is directly adjacent to the Desert House, where the flora and fauna of the driest regions on earth can be explored.