Warsaw Zoo
The Warsaw Zoological Garden, known simply as the Warsaw Zoo is a scientific zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

 on Ratuszowa Street in Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. The zoo covers about 40 hectares (98.8 acre) in downtown Warsaw, and sees 600,000 visitors annually. It is home to over 4,000 animals representing more than 500 species.

The zoo is an accredited member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
-External links:*...

 (EAZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums is the "umbrella" organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. Its mission is to provide leadership and support for zoos, aquariums, and partner organizations of the world in animal care and welfare, conservation of biodiversity, environmental...



Although the current zoo was opened on 11 March 1928, it roots can be traced to 17th century private menagerie
A menagerie is/was a form of keeping common and exotic animals in captivity that preceded the modern zoological garden. The term was first used in seventeenth century France in reference to the management of household or domestic stock. Later, it came to be used primarily in reference to...

s, often open to the public. King Jan Sobieski III
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, from 1674 until his death King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Sobieski's 22-year-reign was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and...

 kept a court menagerie in Wilanów
Wilanów is a district of the city of Warsaw, Poland. It is home to historic Wilanów Palace, the "Polish Versailles," and second home to various Polish kings.-History:...

, and the 19th century saw several private zoos opened in the city.

M. Pągowski opened a small zoo on Koszykowa Street in 1926, and moved this zoo to a new 10000 square metres (107,639.1 sq ft) area on Maja Avenue in 1927. The construction of the 32 hectares (79.1 acre) City Zoological Garden was started in 1927 as well. In November 1927 the zoo gained a director when Wenanty Burdziński, former director and founder of the zoological garden in Kiev, was appointed to the post. Construction of the zoo was fast, and the zoo was opened in March 1928, with some animals purchased from M. Pągowski and some donated by the Pedagogical Museum, which had a small zoo on its premises. Animals resident at the zoo when it opened included lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

s, tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

s, and a female Indian elephant
Indian Elephant
The Indian Elephant is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant, and native to mainland Asia. Since 1986, Elephas maximus has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years...

 named Kasia.

Wenanty Burdziński died of acute pneumonia before the end of 1928, and Jan Żabiński
Jan Zabinski
Jan Żabiński was a Polish zoologist and zootechnician, recognized by the State of Israel to be one of the Righteous Among the Nations. He was director of the Warsaw Zoo before the outbreak of World War II and additionally superintendent of the city's public parks during the Nazi occupation...

 was appointed directory. Before World War II, Jan oversaw the creation of several exhibits including the monkey house, elephant house, enclosures for antelopes, a seal pond, and the giraffe barn. He was director of the zoo until 1939, was re-appointed in 1949, and continued in the post until 1951.

In 1937 the zoos female elephant Kasia gave birth to the first Indian elephant born in a Polish zoo.

World War II

The zoo was bombed in September 1939, and many animals died. After the surrender of Warsaw to the Germans, most of the remaining animals were taken to Germany and the zoo was closed. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Jan Żabiński, the director, together with his wife Antonina and their son Ryszard, saved more than 200 Jews from the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. Jan Żabinski was seriously injured during the 1944 Warsaw uprising
Warsaw Uprising
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army , to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union's Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces...

, and taken prisoner. When he returned, animals started being reintroduced to the zoo, which was reopened in 1949.



This 6000 square metres (64,583.5 sq ft) exhibit was opened in 2003, and includes two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, and individual indoor paddocks and an indoor walk for the elephants. As of 2010, it houses one male and three female elephants.

Hippopotamus House & Shark Aquarium

Opened in April 2010, this facility has both an outdoor and indoor pool for the Hippos. The indoor hippo pool includes a large glass area where visitors can watch the hippos underwater. Past the hippo pool and in a shaded room is a 100000 litre salt water tank, which is the largest single fish tank in Poland. The aquarium includes the only sand tiger shark
Grey nurse shark
The sand tiger shark or grey nurse shark is a species of shark that inhabits coastal waters worldwide. It lives very close to the shorelines and beaches of North America, hence the name, sand tiger shark. Despite a fearsome appearance and strong swimming abilities, it is a relatively placid and...

 in Poland, as well other fishes including blacktip reef shark
Blacktip reef shark
The blacktip reef shark is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins...

s, spotted eagle ray
Spotted eagle ray
The spotted eagle ray is a cartilaginous fish of the eagle ray family, Myliobatidae. It can be found globally in tropical regions, including the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, off the coast of West Africa, the Indian Ocean, Oceania, and on both coasts of the Americas at depths down to about . The rays...

s, Arabian carpet shark
Carpet shark
The carpet sharks are an order, Orectolobiformes, of sharks, so called because many members have ornate patterns reminiscent of carpets....

s, Zebrasoma
Zebrasoma is a genus of marine fish composed of seven species of pointed-snout, disc-like bodied, sail-like finned, single peduncular-spined fishes. Zebrasoma are usually placid community fish, many forming large groups or shoals, although fiercely territorial against other tangs or similar shaped...

 species, and yellow tang
Yellow tang
The yellow tang is a saltwater fish species of the family Acanthuridae. It is one of the most popular aquarium fish.-Appearance:...


Ape House

The Ape House was opened in September 2008, and is home to the zoo's gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

s and chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s. As of 2010, the zoo was home to 2 gorillas and 7 chimpanzees. Visitors can observer the apes from large indoor paths surrounded by water, or from outside the building, separated from the apes by glass.
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