The Ber­lin Jun­gle

Annabelle Mal­lia’s fas­ci­na­tion with the an­i­mal king­dom in­spired her to ex­plore the wilder side of town.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS - BY ANNABELLE MAL­LIA

Places to visit with guar­an­teed an­i­mal en­coun­ters.

A red squir­rel scur­ry­ing up a tree, rab­bits dart­ing in and out of bushes at the lo­cal Volkspark, per­haps a bushy-tailed fox in search of food scraps, and if you’re lucky, a wild boar in the Grunewald for­est: th­ese are the usual wild an­i­mal sight­ings in Ber­lin. If you don’t want to take your chances, there are plenty of places to visit where an­i­mal en­coun­ters are guar­an­teed.

LIFE’S A ZOO

Ber­lin Zoo (Har­den­berg­platz, www.zoober­lin.de) has over 20,000 an­i­mals of more than 1000 dif­fer­ent species, mak­ing it one of the big­gest col­lec­tions of fauna in the world. Fa­vorites are the monkey house, the noc­tur­nal level in com­plete dark­ness, and the pet­ting zoo where kids can get up close and per­sonal with all of old McDon­ald’s farm an­i­mals. Its eastern coun­ter­part is Tier­park (Am Tier­park 125, www.tier­park-ber­lin.de). Cov­er­ing a wide area around the Friedrichs­felde palace, this is one of the largest parks in Europe and home to the ever-popular vari and lemur for­est, a large en­clo­sure you can walk through while the an­i­mals walk above your heads – or, some­times, on your shoul­ders. On a smaller scale, Domäne Dahlem (König­inLuise-Str. 49, www.do­maene-dahlem.de) is a func­tional farm (they call them­selves an open-air mu­seum) con­ceived to give kids and grown-ups a peek into living off the land, with farm an­i­mals, a veg­gie gar­den, and an old trac­tor and manor house. Should you wish to squeeze in some zoo­log­i­cal high­lights while shop­ping, head to the tow­er­ing cone-shaped bird cages at Neues Kran­zler Eck just off the Ku’damm, home to a va­ri­ety of par­rots and other ex­otic birds, hap­pily peck­ing and squawk­ing away.

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