Rather together

1858 • • • 1989 • • • 2018

In 1989 the rhinoceros couple Tsororo and Kalusho came from Zimbabwe to Frankfurt Zoo. Jutta W. Thomasius recalls the arrival of the two in the book "Zoo Stories".

"Tsororo and Kalusho arrived in huge wooden boxes. For months the two remained invisible to the public, distributed in separate enclosures. With great care the animals were accustomed to each other. When the wooden divider fell and it became possible to "sniff at each other" through bars, hope blossomed that they would adjust quickly. But the opposite happened. Kalusho and Tsororo chased each other whenever they got the opportunity."

Although the two had a difficult start, they sired three daughters, all of whom were brought back to Africa to strengthen the gene pool of wild animals. Her eldest daughter Akura travelled to South Africa in 1996. It was the first zoo-born black rhino in the world that could be reintroduced to the wild, more precisely to the Marakele National Park. There she gave birth to her first daughter in August 2003.

Black rhinoceroses are one of the most endangered species. To preserve the species, we support rhino conservation and monitoring projects in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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Storm over Brandenburg

1858 • • • 2001 • • • 2018

31st of May 1999, pitch-black thunderclouds blanketed the skies. No doubt about it: A summer storm was coming. We were in Brandenburg working on a former Russian military training area. Here nature should be left to itself. As I sat in the car studying maps and aerial views, what happened suddenly can hardly be described: As the first branches broke, I tried to escape, but the fallen trees quickly made the effort futile. Fierce storm winds swept over my colleagues and I, centennial trunks broke like matches and were whirled weightlessly through the air. In seconds, several hectares of forest lay on the ground around us. Whole ramparts of trees and branches piled up metres high around our car.

Miraculously we remained unharmed and climbed out of the wedged vehicle. In just a few minutes, the storm had caused a natural development of its own.

Christof Schenck is the Executive Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. As a passionate biologist, he regularly exchanges his desk for rubber boots and binoculars. Former military training areas, like the one in Brandenburg are ideal development areas for wilderness.

Suitable repositories for bears, wolves and wild boars

1858 • • • 1858 • • • 2018

In the year 1858, a handful of Frankfurt citizens came together with the idea to create a place where people could spend time outside and learn about nature. A park was needed that would house animals according to their needs – in short: a zoo.

The society managed to find potent donors, the old established Frankfurt families Rothschild, Binding, Merton and Oppenheimer. Even today these names are ever-present in the city of Frankfurt.

When finally the Frankfurt police office had provided a clearance certificate to ”keep bears, wolves and wild boars in suitable repositories”, the zoo opened its gates on 8 August 1858, only five months after the Frankfurt Zoological Society had been founded. By the way: A yearly pass for one-person cost 5 gulden, for a family, 10 gulden.

Frankfurt Zoo and FZS share that historical origin and a close partnership. Today, the zoo is operated by the city of Frankfurt and Frankfurt Zoological Society has developed into an international nature conservation organisation with projects on four continents. Together we promote environmental education in Frankfurt Zoo.

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