Gdansk Zoo

by Arūnas
Zoo Oliwa
Gdansk Zoo, with an area of approximately 125 ha (308 ac), is the largest zoological garden in Poland in terms of space and has become home for animals originating from all the continents.

The zoo was opened in 1954, with 43 animal specimens (including farm animals such as rabbits and horses). The first exotic animals were mainly gifts from sailors. In 1957, it already had 285 animals of 81 species. At that time the zoo was visited annually by over 250,000 visitors. In 1985, it had almost 800 representatives of 176 species and received more than 400,000 visitors annually.

Today, Gdansk Zoo is home to more than 1100 animals representing nearly 200 species from all over the world, including those which are threatened with extinction. It is one of 24 zoological gardens in Poland and last year had over 470 000 visitors.

Gdansk Zoo is an accredited member of the European (EAZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). According to the Polish Nature Conservation Act, only animals born and raised outside of their natural environment, which do not have a chance to survive outside of a garden can be kept in zoos, or if it is necessary to protect the population or species, or for scientific purposes.

My favorite animals at the Gdansk Zoo

Red-eyed treefrog

The red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), in nature, lives in lowland rainforests and surrounding hills, particularly in areas close to rivers, and can be found throughout most of Central America, as far north as southern Mexico.

Red-eyed treefrog in camouflage mode

During the day, the species of about 5–7 cm (2–3 in) in size is not much to look at: of dull green color, these frogs sleep camouflaged under a palm tree curled up. But when the night falls, they go hunting insects – with suction cups on their toes, the red-eyed treefrogs are well adapted to climbing.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Least Concern.

Amazon milk frog

The Amazon milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix), in nature, lives on the trees near the slow-flowing waters. The species is found in the tropical rainforests of South America, as high as 30 meters (100 feet) above ground.

Amazon milk frog on a branch

Adult milk frogs can reach 6–10 cm (2.5–4 in) in length. They are voracious eaters, consuming anything that moves and fits into their mouths.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Least Concern.

Southern African meerkat

The Southern African meerkat (Suricata suricatta suricatta) is native to southern Namibia and Botswana, and South Africa. Like all mongooses, they have long (length: 25–35 cm/ 9–14 in; tail: 17–25 cm/ 7–9 in) slender bodies and short limbs.

Southern African meerkat looking back

Meerkats are insectivores living in groups of up to 20 members but usually, only about 7–12 members are average. They are most frequently seen balanced on their rear legs and tail while surveying the surroundings.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Unknown.

Red-necked wallaby

The red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) is common in the more temperate and fertile parts of eastern Australia, including Tasmania, and lives in wet and dry sclerophyll forests, as well as woodland with adjoining grassy areas.

Red-necked wallabies eating cut grass

Their long feet, combined with large strong legs, are used to allow them to hop around at speeds of up to 48–64 km/h (30–40 mph).

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Least Concern.

Fallow deer

The fallow deer (Dama dama) inhabits the plains and low hilly deciduous forests with vast meadows, preferring the mosaic fringes, and occurs wild in Europe and elsewhere and in captivity on deer farms around the world.

Pair of Fallow deer

Green grass is the main food source for the fallow deer. These animals can reach about 140 cm (55 in) lengths and a height of 90 cm (35 in).

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Least Concern.

Red lechwe

The red lechwe (Kobus leche) occurs in separate populations in western Zambia, northern Botswana, and eastern Namibia. These antelopes are found in marshy areas where they eat aquatic plants, more than 2 or 3 km from permanent water.

Pair of Red lechwe

They are about 90 cm (35 in) tall at the shoulder; the males have lyre-shaped horns that are around 70 cm (27 in) long.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Near Threatened.

Shetland pony

The Shetland pony is one of Scotland’s most loved and recognizable breeds – for at least 2000 years, these animals have roamed the exposed hills and moors of Shetland.

Shetland pony eating cut grass

They stand up to 107 cm (42 in) high at four years old or over and can grow a very thick, soft winter coat.

Chapman’s zebra

The Chapman’s zebra (Equus quagga chapmani) inhabits the savannahs and open and rather dry plain grasslands of southern Africa. The species is characterized by its lighter brown lines between the black and white stripes.

Family of Chapman’s zebra

As these zebras are not currently endangered, the conservation status is regarded as low risk as population numbers are still relatively high.

Rothschild’s giraffe

The Rothchild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) lives in the hot woodlands, savannahs, and shrublands of Kenya and Uganda.  Its coloring is unique compared to other giraffes as their markings stop halfway down their legs. It is one of the world’s tallest land mammals, growing up to 6 m (20 ft) tall. They are herbivores like all types of giraffes and feed on the leaves of tall trees such as the wild apricot or acacia.

Rothschild’s giraffes

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Unknown.

African bush elephant

The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) is found in most African countries, living in varied habitats from the open savanna to the desert and high rainforest.

African bush elephant

It is the largest of all living creatures on land today, with some individuals growing to weigh more than 6 tonnes. The elephant reaches up to 7 m (24 ft) in length and 4 m (13 ft) in height.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.

Javan lutung

The Javan lutung (Trachypithecus auratus) is native to Java, Bali, and the Indonesian island of Lombok and inhabits the interior and peripheral areas of rainforests, up to elevations of 3,500 m (11,482 ft). This species’ tail is noticeably long, measuring up to 98 cm (38 in) in length while the body is only around 55 cm (21 in) long.

The species’ status on the IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.

Javan lutung eating grass

Hands down the best value and quality zoo I have been to! One thing about it – it is huge for something that calls itself a zoo rather than a safari park. All the animals have nice large enclosures. The whole zoo feels very well kept and the animals look healthy. There is also a petting zoo popular with small children, with playful goats and cute rabbits. Undoubtedly worth a visit.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Useful information
Karwienska 3
80-328, Gdansk

9:00–17:00 (every day)

25 PLN (full), 20 PLN (reduced).

Gdansk map

The zoo is located a little bit out of the city center. But it is easy to go by local train (SKM) from Gdansk Main Station to Oliwa and then by bus No 179 or No 622 to the zoo, it is the last stop so you can not miss the zoo.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Gdansk, Poland

I hope you enjoyed my Gdansk Zoo post. If you love animals and like visiting aquariums and zoos, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:

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