Story by Bianca Sowders
ANSBACH, Germany (June 24, 2020) — Several wild life parks, an aquarium and a large zoo are located close enough to USAG Ansbach for a day trip; some of the smaller parks are low cost or admission free and make a perfect opportunity for a family outing.
Tiergarten Nürnberg – Nürnberg Zoo
Am Tiergarten 30 – 90480 Nürnberg – 0911-5454-6 – www.tiergarten.nuernberg.de
Highlights: The Tiergarten Nürnberg features a Delphinarium with an outdoor Laguna for dolphins and sea lions (four shows daily), an Aqua Park for beavers, otters, penguins, seals and polar bears, as well as a manatee house. With more than 2,000 animals of 300 species from all over the world, a children’s zoo and a large playground it is one of Europe’s largest zoos. The landscaping is mainly forest paths, with meadow areas and ponds built into a former sandstone quarry.
COVID-19 physical distancing and hygiene rules apply; wear a mask when using the rest rooms and in the restaurant areas. Access via one-way lane; petting zoo is currently closed. The number of visitors is limited to 6,500, short waiting times may occur; however, a running headcount is displayed on the website during opening hours.
April – October – daily 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
November – March – daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission prices: Adults 16 €, children 7.70 €, family ticket (1 parent + minor children) 21 €, family ticket (2 parents + minor children) 37 €
Wildpark an den Eichen in Schweinfurt
Albin-Kitzinger-Straße – 97422 Schweinfurt – Städtisches Forstamt – 09721-4727839 – www.facebook.com/WildparkSchweinfurt
Highlights: The wildlife park houses 500 animals from Germany and other countries, mostly hoofed animals like moose and deer, as well as wild boars and lynxes. Smaller animals like guinea pigs can be admired in the petting zoo. A kiddy pool refreshes the little ones in summer; playgrounds are spread out in the park. Signs and brochures are available in English. COVID-19 rules apply.
Opening hours and admission prices: Open daily all year around, free admission.
Im Hafenbecken 5 – 67346 Speyer – Tickets: 01805 – 66 69 01 01 – www.sealifeeurope.com
Highlights: Displays feature more than 3,000 creatures from seahorses and rays to sharks and turtles; walk through an underwater tunnel or hold a crab and touch the starfish in the interactive rock pool; daily feeding demonstrations
Opening hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission prices: 16.50 € (dated tickets must be purchased online; chose a time window for entry; special online discounts may be available)
Raubtier- und Exotenasyl
Leinmühlstraße 2 – 91522 Ansbach – Wallersdorf – 0170-415 1972 – https://www.facebook.com/RaubtierundExotenasyl
Highlights: Wild cats (tigers and cougars) and other exotic, mostly rescued animals, find a home in the shelter in Wallersdorf.
Opening hours: Open house every first Sunday of the month, 1 – 5 p.m. During COVID-19, preregistration is necessary. Call ahead for a time slot at 0981-9776 7402 (Mon – Sat, 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m.). COVID-19 rules apply.
Admission prices: No admission fee, donations welcome
Wildpferd-Gehege in Erlangen-Tennenlohe – Wild horse park
91058 Erlangen-Tennenlohe – 09131-6146345 – www.wildpferde-tennenlohe.de
Highlights: The wild horse park is located on the former U.S. military training area near Tennenlohe; the animals were returned to the wild to regenerate their kind and to keep the biotope from reforesting. The patient observor may spot them in their natural habitat from the look-out hill. Do not try to pet or feed the horses, or leave assigned walking paths; dogs have to be leashed. COVID-19 rules apply.
Opening hours: Open daily all year around.
Admission prices: No admission fee.
Wildgehege Hufeisen im Veldensteiner Forst
Between Pegnitz and Plech in Veldensteiner Forst (off Autobahn 9, exit 99 „Pegnitz“) – 09244-243 – https://www.wildgehege-hufeisen.de
Highlights: A wild game park with 40 ha land, housing red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, European mouflon (sheep) and wild boar. Animals can be fed (not by hand) with special food from food machines; do not bring in any food from the outside to avoid importing diseases. Stay on marked pathways for own safety. Dogs are not allowed, but can be kenneled on site. COVID-19 rules apply.
Opening hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Admission prices: Adults 2 €, children free; bring change for the ticket machine.
Hundshaupten 62 – 91349 Egloffstein – 09197-241 – www.wildpark-hundshaupten.de
Highlights: European bison, fallow and red deer, wild boar, chamois, capricorns and dwarf goats are tucked away in a side valley in the heart of the Fränkische Schweiz. Close by are the castle of Egloffstein and the pilgrim church of Gößweinstein. COVID-19 rules apply.
Opening hours: April to October daily 9 a.m.– 6 p.m.; November to March daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Admission prices: Adults 5 €, children 2.50 €, dogs 3 €; family tickets available for 12.0 €.
Freiland Aquarium und Terrarium
Heuweg 16 – 90547 Stein bei Nürnberg – 0911-227970 – www.freiland.nhg-nuernberg.de
Highlights: The outdoor aquarium and terrarium shows indigenous amphibians and reptiles, newts and toads, turtles and snakes. COVID-19 rules apply.
Opening hours: May to September on weekends and German holidays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission prices: No fee, but donations are welcome.
Photos by Bianca Sowders, Raubtier- und Exotenasyl Ansbach, Wildgehege Hundshaupten