ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen

Coordinates: 51°32′39″N 7°6′39″E / 51.54417°N 7.11083°E / 51.54417; 7.11083
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen
51°32′39″N 7°6′39″E / 51.54417°N 7.11083°E / 51.54417; 7.11083
Date opened1949 as "Ruhr-Zoo"
LocationBleckstr. 64,
45889 Gelsenkirchen
Land area31 hectares (about 77 acres)
No. of animalsca. 560
No. of species64
Major exhibitsAfrica, Alaska and Asia

ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen, founded on April 14, 1949, as "Ruhr-Zoo", is one of the most modern zoological gardens in Germany. It was founded on a heavily shelled area in Gelsenkirchen adjacent to a port on the Rhine–Herne Canal. It initially encompassed 15.5 hectares. During its first years, there was a large turnover of animals as an animal trader, Firma Ruhe, provided them.

Today the park is owned by the city of Gelsenkirchen via GEW – Gesellschaft für Energie und Wirtschaft mbH (society for energy and business), a holding of municipally owned concerns.

After 2004 the park was enlarged to the present size.

It is incredibly well known for its panoramas and cultural approach. The main attractions are big animals, mostly mammals; the zoo has no aquarium house, insectarium or other facilities for smaller animals.

African Queen, Afrika at ZOOM Erlebniswelt in Gelsenkirchen


visitors annually
before 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
approx. 250,000 approx. 750,000 approx. 1,000,000 approx. 900,000 approx. 850,000[1] approx. 1,050,000[2] approx. 902,000[3]

The numbers before 2005 reflect average visitor numbers for the old Ruhr-Zoo.

Concept and layout

Map of the park

The entrance area resembles the character of a Westphalian farm and is called Grimberger Hof (opened 2004). Its yard offers access to the three separate areas of the park. These are called "safaris" and titled Alaska (opened 2005), Afrika (opened 2006) and Asien (opened 2010).

All Safaris are accessible through gates in a matching style with a shop delivering related paraphernalia.

Grimberger Hof

The entrance area is designed as a farm and features: some rare species of domesticated animals, a restaurant, a playground, a shop for memorabilia and a petting zoo.



It mainly features

nearctic ecozone wildlife with the likes of polar bears, mooses and Californian sea lions. It has a tunnel under a water-filled basin and beavers in a landscaped habitat

The area is decorated with American road signs, a school bus, a cave resembling a gold mine and other touristy features. Additionally, there is another open-air restaurant and a simulator ride with an animated floor gives the illusion of riding an igloo on an ice floe.



This safari features most of the popular big animals from Sub-Saharan Africa. Lions and zebras can be seen within the same panorama. A lake with flamingos, a rocky landscape for monkeys and an area with hippos (which are separated from the visitors using invisible underwater fences) can be traversed via a tow boat ride called the African Queen.

Besides wild animals, the entrance area displays some domesticated forms like Ankole-Watusi.

This area features another open-air restaurant and a big playground.



Asia features mainly a big hall with tropical climate, home of:

and more. It also includes a big indoor playground and a restaurant with Asian cuisine.

Further attractions are a monkey palace, Bactrian camels and (displayed since summer 2013) Siberian tigers.



  • On 31 March 2020, the hippopotamus Ernie celebrated his 50th birthday. At that age, he is the oldest hippopotamus bull in Germany. Ernie was born in Karlsruhe but has lived in Gelsenkirchen since 1971. The two female hippos Asita and Susi live in the rainforest hall and an area at Africa lake.[citation needed]
  • The hippopotamus Rosi, which weighed more than two tons, was the oldest hippopotamus in Germany. She celebrated her 50th in 2008 and lived in ZOOM since 1981. Since then, she gave birth to twelve hippos. On 24 April 2012, Rosi died at the age of 53 years.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Zoom Erlebniswelt: Mit Asien wird's schöner, aber auch teurer - Gelsenkirchen - DerWesten". Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Zoom-Saison 2011: Radio Emscher Lippe". Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links