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Prickly characters and lucky bags at Hannover Adventure Zoo

04-20-2011 10:04 AM CET | Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Press release from: Hannover Adventure Zoo

One of the new show stars 2011!

One of the new show stars 2011!

Barbary lion offspring and a dark secret on the banks of the Zambezi. Majestic eagles and clever coati in the Show Arena. Mini elephants taking part in mother-baby exercises in the Jungle Palace, a bag of surprises in the Outback: Hannover Adventure Zoo presents animal attractions in seven unique zoo worlds for the new season.

Barbary lion offspring: royal prickly characters
Prickly and stubborn, the royal offspring of the Barbary lion have a fuzzy coat and freckle-like black spots on their foreheads. The two lion cubs born on 24 February spent the first week of their lives behind the scenes with their mother Binta (3). Now weighing almost 5 kg, the brother and sister are big enough to follow mother Binta into the lion canyon on the Zambezi, where exciting adventures await them both: butterflies to be hunted, rocks to be climbed, blades of grass to be bagged!

The first Barbary lion offspring in Hannover is a great success in the effort to save the lion sub-species which is under threat of extinction. Wild Barbary lions have been extinct in their native habitat of North Africa since the middle of the 20th century.

New elephant show: mother-baby exercises
In 2010 the elephants set a new world record: five Asian elephant calves were born at Hannover Adventure Zoo within one calendar year – that is a world first!
Now the bunch of trunked rascals are turning everything topsy-turvy in the Jungle Palace. The elephant keepers call the unpredictable babies "Wundertüten", which means lucky bags

The mothers of the five wild calves barely have any time for themselves. They can't take their eyes off of the little ones for a second, since they are full of mischief and stick their trunks into everything. The elephant keepers have therefore arranged a special wellness and training program for the mothers. Twice a day there is the scheduled "Mother-Baby-Exercises" in the Jungle Palace where the female elephants get fit and flexible - after all they did gain up to 300 kg during pregnancy!

The "Mother-Baby-Exercise" trains bums, tums, and legs, and also tests the nerves. The elephants get a full body workout from trunk to tip of the tail. The babies have their own exercise program and that means causing disruption, getting in the way and making mischief.

New stars of the show: fortunately clever
With sure steps the coati Manolo runs up the narrow, sloping log, until a rope crosses his path. A small basket dangles at the end of it and in it is the tempting smell of Manolo's favourite snack: raisins.

Quick as a flash the coati calculates all the variables (sloping tree + rope + basket = raisins) and solves the task with bravery. Instead of climbing down head-first to the basket to go fishing for raisins somewhere between the sky and the ground, the savvy coati pulls the rope up with his paws.

In three daily shows the animal trainers show which talents the animals have, how intelligent they are and how they can solve tricky tasks by themselves; that parrots even recognise colours and that skunks don't always stink.

The newest star of the show distinguishes itself above all through its quietness and vision: Steppe Eagle Tarun makes himself comfortable (all 2.5 kg of him!) on the arm of a visitor and simply observes. The animal trainers explain that this is exactly what Steppe Eagles do when they are hunting prey. From its perch on a raised stand the eagle has the surrounding area in its field of vision. If it sees prey, it swoops down and uses the element of surprise. Small birds, snakes, lizards and rodents, such as gophers, make tasty meals for the eagle. However, in the zoo the eagle stays sitting – later they get rewarded for this with prey.

Spring in the Outback: a bag of surprises
In Australia Spring has broken out: lush greens adorn the accessible Bennett's tree kangaroo park. The freshly laid turf in front of the abandoned petrol station in the Outback is the new playground of the small kangaroos, who have swapped their former favourite place under the trees for the tasty greenery.

The joys of spring included: a young animal tucked in almost every pouch. Soon seven joeys will pop their noses out of the pouches in the next few weeks and take over their new green surroundings.

The small Bennett's tree kangaroos are happy to introduce themselves to visitors at close quarters in their accessible park. If you crouch down (the kangaroos are just barely a metre high!) you can look the animals directly in the eye. But beware: the Bennett's tree kangaroos don't permit bag searches – the pouch shall remain full of surprises.

Dark mystery on the Zambezi
Springboks are in fact light-brown antelope with white stomachs, adorned with a sporty black rally-stripe along the side. Normally. The offspring of the Hannover Springboks born on 28 February is all one colour: dark blackish-brown from head to toe. A so-called "blacky". A good-natured dark whim of nature, which provides much excitement on the Zambezi, as both (also dark) blesboks and the spotted giraffes don't exactly know what to think about the black young Springbok female. But this doesn't matter to the blacky: it loves to play with all colours.

Black Springboks were first observed (and also shot) in 1888 at Seacow River in South Africa. Only in 1935 were black springboks discovered again on a farm in South Africa among light-coloured springboks and these were specifically bred. A pair of this group was later given to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, where they went on to breed black and normal-coloured springboks. The father of this "blacky", which incidentally looks like a completely normal Springbok, came from this zoo.

Mascot parade now with meerkat Gustav
They are the friends of all children and beloved: Johnny Mouse, Charlie Rooster and Podgy Percy, zoo mascot Tatzi Tatz and now meerkat Gustav say goodbye to young visitors at the end of an exciting day at the zoo. The life-size, colourful mascots are the most-cuddled animals in the zoo and are great photo opportunities.

Meerkat Gustav is the fearless tiny hero from Ingo Siegner's children's books. Together with meerkats Pauline and Rocky he has exciting night-time adventures in the zoo and almost leads the animal team to a victory against Hannover 96! Now the popular meerkat is at the mascot parade and on hand to give out cuddles at the zoo.

More information at

Adventure Zoo with about 3,400 animals in seven unique theme worlds, numerous animal shows and commented feedings daily, free attractions such as the Zambezi boat ride, Henry’s Underwater World, jungle path, evolution trail, adventure playgrounds, petting meadow as well as regional specialties in every theme world.

Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover
(Hannover Adventure Zoo)
Adenauerallee 3
D-30175 Hannover
Presse: Dr. Simone Hagenmeyer
Tel. (+49) 511 28074117

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