Rheine Zoo, NaturZoo Rheine


The zoo was founded in 1937 as a zoo for native species with fallow deer and wild boar as well as other Central European animal species. The gates were opened to the public for the first time on 25 July 1937. Although initially focussing on native fauna, the zoo housed rhesus macaques and crab-eating macaques right from the start. It was not until 1965 that the zoo changed its concept and focussed more on exotic non-European animal species.

Since 1973, under its scientific director Wolfgang Salzert, the zoo gained national prestige due to many new enclosures and its commitment to species and nature conservation. In 1974, the first walk-through primate exhibit in Germany was opened at Rheine Zoo, the Monkey Forest ('Affenwald') with Barbary macaques. Descendants of these first inhabitants are part of today's colony of Barbary macaques.

The gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) was introduced in the Zoo's animal collection in 1980, and the first infant was born in 1982. Since in 1989 Rheine Zoo proposed the establishment of an European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for the gelada baboon and in 1990 an international studbook was endorsed, both are coordinated by Rheine Zoo. Currently, the Zoo has the largest group of this unique primate species of any zoo worldwide, which is inter alia a result of a good breeding track record.

Over the years many of the changes and improvements supported the overall concept of creating close up meetings between humans and animals, thus between visitors and inhabitants. A few of the more recent developments are the new seal and penguin facilities of 2004, the hill for sloth bear and golden jackal of 2009, the extension of the tiger exhibits and the stork aviary of 2010, and the Lemur Forest of 2016.

A full historical narrative to be added

(Source: Wikipedia; Vom 'Heimattergarten' zum modernen Zoo - 75 Jahre NaturZoo Rheine, Paul Nienhaus, 2012)

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map


"Tiger map" (CC BY 2.5) by Sanderson et al., 2006.


about zoos and their mission regarding breeding endangered species, nature conservation, biodiversity and education, while at the same time relates to the evolution of species.