End of Year Event in Tierpark Berlin
WIB end-of-the-year event was a special family outing to Tierpark Berlin. Set in 160 hectares land, it is Europe’s largest animal park. Imagine a zoo with the size of the entire Heligoland (a small German archipelago in the North Sea) or as big as 224 football fields all put together! The members and their families met at the entrance Schloß in the morning of 30 June 2018 and were directed to the terrace of the restaurant inside the park. The entrance is called entrance Schloß because it is also the gate that leads to Schloss Friedrichsfelde, the former property of Prussian nobles.
Mrs, Niemann, the zoological director, welcomed the group and explained how the zoo plays a major role in preserving rare animals that are almost extinct. It is the home of over 9000 animals and 790 endangered species. For example the fallow deer, the threatened, rare species from Iran. Another rare and endangered species is Przewalski's horse, the Mongolian wild horses. The group was very happy to have the opportunity to hand feed them. It was a delightful treat for the children who squealed with laughter when the horses kicked each other playfully behind the fence.
While the English-speaking group took a special interest in a pair of very rare giraffe gazelle, the German-speaking group enjoyed watching Betty, the Indian rhinoceros. They also learned that flamingos are very pink because of their favorite diets: algae, the mollusks (clams) and the crustaceans (crab, prawns) which are loaded with beta carotene, an organic chemical that contains a reddish-orange pigment (in the zoo, paprika powder is added to their food). The group also learned that the giraffes have a 40 cm long tongue! By the end of the tour, the groups thanked both guides warmly for the fascinating and informative 90-minutes walking tour. A cosy lunch together at the terrace of the restaurant concluded the special event.