Welcome to the website of the Plzen Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the second oldest zoo in the Czech Republic. The Zoological Garden was opened in 1926 originally in another part of Pilsen and opened in Lochotin, its present location, in 1961. In 1963 the zoo moved next door. They merged in 1981 to form a common area of the current size of21 hectares. In the `60`s a separate Zoo exhibit, the Aqua and Tera Culture opened in the city centre with reptiles, amphibians, fish and inverebrates. In 1996, modernization moved the premises to its current state.
Different areas of the world were identified by different colours and marked as such in the zoo. Animals formerly located in two pavilions in the front of the zoo are now evenly spread out according to their habitat requirements throughout the grounds. The collection of animals grew to more than 1,300 species and 6,500 individuals [the largest in the country]! Zoo attendance grew to more than 450,000 people in 2009-2011 and was ranked among the 4 most successful zoos in the Czech Republic and one of the main attractions of the Czech Republic. Among the most interesting Pilsen/ Plzen animals are: Indian rhinos, Sudanese cheetahs, Liberian hippos, Komodo dragons, giant tortoises, lemurs, chimpanzees, giraffes, Siberian tigers, Snow and Chinese leopards, penguins and many others. Successful breeding is being achieved with turtles, crocodiles, clawed monkeys, lemurs, many reptiles, birds and small mammals. Plzen zoo has 40 species of animals from EEP [ European rescue programs] and is responsible for the leadership of ESB [ European studbook] for Dwarf and Thick tailed Maki Madagascar prosimians.
In the past polar bears, brown bears, simians, opossum, iguana, elephant turtles, large condor, gazelles, Indo-Chinese tiger,ferrets and 15 types of crocodiles. Historically they were the first Czech zoo to breed Paraguayan caiman, large anaconda, saiga antelope and the Chilean flamingo which has become part of the zoo logo. In the past they successfully bred the large ocelot, the snowy owl and striped hyenas. The new African and Asian pavilions are the most interesting exhibits from 2010 as well as the Madagascar pavilion, Asian Garden, the large hectare exhibit for brown bears, the 19th century farm Luftnerka and the Mysterious World of the African Night. Czech River Life and the Underground Exhibit are unparalled in the Czech Republic.
Plants and animals are carefully placed within recreations of their natural habitats including geology and paleontology and not randomly and incongruously placed.
Quite a different world awaits your visit.
Hints, tips and information:
* Opening hours April to October 8:00 - 19:00 , last entry 18:00
November to March 9:00 - 17:00, last entry 16:30
Summer [ Apr. - Oct. ] 140 CZK , children/ seniors 100 CZK
Winter [ Nov.-Mar. ] 90 CZK , children/ seniors 60 CZK
Dino Park, part of the Plzen Zoo, is open from April to October. At this time it is possible to visit the whole area for the one admission or you can pay for just the Zoo or Dino Park.
To visit just the Dino Park you must enter at the winery at the north entrance.
* Admission can not be paid in Euro or by credit card
* Dogs and other animals are not allowed
* Taking photographs is free and allowed
* Washrooms are free
* Parking at the main ticket office/ entrance is 40 CZK
Kiboko African restaurant, Old Bohemian pub on the farm, a stylish Siberian snack chateau or traditional fast food by the Tropical pavilion. The Madagascar pavilion is part of a stylish souvenir shop at the Lemur exhibit.
* Seasonal program
- falconry demonstrations in the amphitheatre [ April to October 2x daily except Monday ]
- guided feeding of selected animal species according to the current schedule
* throughout the zoo feeding animals is prohibited, with the exception of fish in the water ditches and lakes where there are vending machines for fish food granules.
* Visit the separate tropical exhibit Aqua Tera in the city centre at Palacky area #5 Featured are coral fish, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, turtles and other cold-blooded animals. 50% discount with zoo admission. Open daily throughout the year from 10:00 to 19:00.
*Zoo walks with guided map include 3 different levels of routes: In the footsteps of man, Against the flow of time and Gondwana.
In 1996, management decided the Zoo and Botanical Gardens would be divided into the various biogeographic regions of the world. Until then, the distribution of animals and plants were subject to existing buildings, exhibits and off-road areas. The geographic expansion still uses habitats of deserts, forests and savannas to simulate the natural environment. These areas were assigned corresponding colours which are found on boards and information tables and signs.
The first natural area recreated was the Palearctic Region in 1996 consisting of european wisents, muskoxen, wolves and bears in the largest areas which together with the botanical exhibits represent the trail of the Quaternary. In the top area are the Siberean tigers, Chinese and Snow leopards. Ungulates are represented by large donkeys, goral, eagles and a Siberian forest cabin restaurant. In a world of its own is a 19th century Luftnerka farmhouse with domestic animals including Haflinger horses, Presticka pigs, many breeds of sheep, geese and ducks, rabbits, pigeons and even owls in the attic of the building.A novel attraction is the Czech River trails exhibit from spring stages to the mouth of the river. In nine tanks and a fish pond all types of fish from graylings and trout to catfish and pike interact.There are also a couple of playful river otters.We also have a subspecies of lion, not African or Ethiopian but the Palaearctic Berber lion from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.Palearctic and Asian animals are represented by the colour blue with new exhibits from June 2010 of Kulan, Persian gazelles, camels and red panda. Plants from this habitat include interesting Czech Republic habitats of peat bogs, aeolian sands, salt marshes, aquatic and wetland plants, limestone rock as well as the Asian and Central Asian habitat steppe, Himalayan spring, mountainous areas of China and many others.
North American exhibit was formed mainly in 2006-2008. They comprise the Canadian enclosure with the bobcat, porcupines, a beautiful native totem pole, cabin and stables with Californian wapiti deer, Alaskan sheep and chamois and a Sonoran desert pavilion.Around the enclosures are plants from the North American prairies, deciduous forests and coniferous forests from Eastern and Western USA.The Sonoran pavilion has two dozen terrariums and aquariums from the hot southern US and northern Mexico. Here there are the Kestral sparrow and rabbit owl and mammals including bats, gophers and kangaroo rats. Poisonous lizards and snakes , tarantulas, fish and salamanders also live here. The adjacent aviary pavilion has condors, mountain plants and two terrariums with cactus and succulents.
At present in the South American area are Manned wolves, a common forest enclosure, red-nosed coatis and peccary pigs, around water, turtles and large species of Pampas , ostrich, llama and capybara. In the future the American tapir will be added and a pavilion with marmosets, a parrot enclosure, a large anteater and hopefully the return of jaguars. Many neotropical species live in the tropical pavilion and its surroundings [ penguins, Chilean flamingo, caimans, monkeys and armadillos etc.] Plants of this area are very delicate and growth in our climate is limited. Glass enclosures contain cactus from the mountains of Argentina and Bolivia. The Patagonian botanical exhibit was redone in 2011.
The tour of the zoo and botanical gardens begins in the Australian region at the main entrance which is open year-round on the southern side of the zoo. Straight ahead between the washrooms is the new lion exhibit.To the right of you is a small building with exhibits of birds and mammals.A typical aquatic bird, the black swan shares the pond with the chestnut duck a bird rare in the interior as it normally lives along the coast. To the right, in a glass enclosure is flora from Tasmania.In the summer typical Australian flora can be found around the glass terrarium. New Zealand mountain plants are found in the rock garden with a waterfall.Perhaps the most famous animal in Australia is the kangaroo. The red kangaroo is the largest species, a standing male can measure up to 2.1 meters. Large kangaroos are replacing the large ungulates while the small and medium kangaroos are replacing hares. The terrain of shrubbery houses the African ostrich and the second largest bird on our planet, the brown emu. These creatures can be found in the rear enclosure which has yet to be completed by several aviaries and pavilions. In the rear of the tropical pavilion are the nocturnal marsupials.
Eurasian and African animals are an important part of the Plzen Zoo as is the succulent greenhouse with plants and reptiles from Madagascar, South Africa and the Canary Islands. The Mysterious World of the African Night pavilion is full of small mammals , predators, monkeys, rodents and insectivores. The Madagascar Pavilion, opened in November,2007 is populated by lemurs, chameleons, turtles, boas, antelopes, ostriches and zebras. The pavilion of ungulates, opened in September2007 is dedicated to the memory of Josef Vagner. Around a large aviary for African water birds and a flock of pelicans, cranes and storks are Brazza and Colobus monkeys.In 2008 an exhibit for large African animals , giraffes, cheetahs, pygmy hippoptamus was started and completed in summer 2010. Mountain plants of Southern Africa also grow here outside the greenhouse.Species belonging exclusively to the Oriental Region of the zoo have been bred for years in the Tropical Pavilion, including the Komodo Dragon, Timor deer, Bactrian camel and macaques. The gibbon was the first Oriental animal here. The Indian rhino was imported in 2010.
Primates [ a large group of chimpanzees ], birds, reptiles and amphibians,the largest Czech group of Aldabra giant tortoises, fish and other species of animals from virtually all continents and Neotropical, Ethiopian, Oriental and Australian regions where there are tropical climatic conditions are found here.