Prague Zoo celebrates 90 years. It has risen from the provincial garden to the world level, helping to save rare species
You may have never heard of Nora the bear, but you must have seen her someday. This female polar bear has become a well-known model series of ceramic ashtraysthat adorned our grandmothers’ tables. In addition, Nora became the mother of the first polar bear cub to be bred in captivity. This happened in 1942, when the Second World War raged in Europe, the then director of the Prague Zoo, Jan Vlasák, and his wife raised a female Ilun.
Unfortunately, in the first year of life, the young suffer an injury in the paddock, after which they died, but it can be said that Ilun has started the path of raising animals, which are usually very difficult to raise in captivity.
And Prague Zoo continues this trend to this day. Be it Przewalski’s horses, lowland gorillas, elephants, chabra tapirs, scavengers and many others. And two polar bears were bred in Prague’s Troja after Ilun.
In addition to endangered exotic species, however, the staff of the Prague Zoo is also involved in the protection of domestic fauna. For example, they participate in the monitoring and reintroduction of the little owl, which was previously quite common in the Czech Republic, but today only the last few dozen pairs survive in our territory.
The Prague Zoo is also working on the return of ground squirrels to the Troja Basins. In these, these rodents used to be abundant in the past, but human activity and other adverse effects caused the ground squirrel to almost disappear from the wild. In Troja, however, the ground squirrels seem to be doing well, and if the positive trend continues, it will spread from there to other parts of the Czech Republic.
Recall the history and achievements of the Prague Garden. Prepared by Ondřej Novák.