Especially in today’s age of digitization, it is important for children not to lose touch with the “real” world. Therefore, holidays and free time with the little ones should be spent in nature as often as possible without being distracted by technical devices. There is an opportunity to do this, for example, on a hike in the mountains, but above all when visiting a zoo or wildlife park where there are different animals to admire. The possibilities for this are extremely diverse in Tyrol.
The ibex obviously feel at home in the Alpenzoo Innsbruck and find a protected habitat for their endangered art here. – Image by Elsemargriet from Pixabay
Animals are part of life in Tyrol
Outside of the larger cities such as Innsbruck, Hall or Schwaz, there is plenty of nature to enjoy in Tyrol. Animals are a matter of course.
Who for his vacation, for example Great chalet in the Zillertal books for his family, with a bit of luck you will also find your own petting zoo with rabbits, goats, ponies and other animals, where the children can try themselves as farmers. But even if that’s not the case: The next opportunity to leaf through animals up close is never very far away in Tyrol.
For example, if you happen to be in the provincial capital of Innsbruck and have a little time to spare, you should definitely pay a visit to the Alpenzoo. Because this is the highest animal park in Europe.
The Alpenzoo in Innsbruck: Unique and known far beyond the borders of Tyrol
On an area of around five hectares, which corresponds to around seven football pitches, you can admire a unique collection of around 2,000 animals from the entire Alpine region. According to the operator, the largest cold water aquarium in the world is also located here. There are mainly local fish such as the loach or the brook loach to leaf through.
The Alpenzoo can be reached with the Hungerburgbahn directly from the old town of Innsbruck. The zoo itself has existed since 1962. It has gained international renown primarily through its numerous resettlement projects for animal species that have died out in Tyrol or are threatened with extinction, such as bearded vultures. One of the famous animals in Innsbruck Zoo is the ibex Walter II, who is considered the leader of the ibex harem.
In the existing Weiherburg there is also a very interesting natural history museum, which offers a fantastic impression of the biodiversity of Tyrol. Admission is only possible in connection with an admission ticket for the Alpine Zoo. Therefore, this opportunity should definitely be used.
A real insider tip: the rarity zoo in Ebbs
The rarity zoo is a popular destination for Tyrolean families, but it is still an insider tip among tourists. Unlike other facilities that are supported with subsidies, this zoo lives solely on the entrance fees of visitors and private donations.
In addition to numerous bird species such as pelicans, flamingos and Tyrolean-speaking parrots, there are also some mammals such as Barbary apes and porcupines to see in the rarity zoo. Austria or Australia? Many visitors will have asked themselves this question when they saw one of the resident kangaroos hopping past the zoo.
In Ebbs there is constant construction and renewal. In 2020, for example, a facility for Siberian chipmunks was built and the enclosure for the rhesus monkeys was completely renovated. In 2021, numerous renovations were planned to make life a little easier for both animals and visitors.
The zoo is closed in winter and opens its doors annually from March to October. If you want to support the operators, you can do so by purchasing an annual pass for the whole family. This means that the facility can be visited at any time.
Wildpark Assling: Here you can get really close to wild animals
Assling is more than just a wildlife park. It is a real adventure world, which provides lots of action for young and old, especially thanks to the summer toboggan run. Afterwards, at the Bärenwirt inn, you can enjoy typical Tyrolean fare such as Schlipfkrapfen or dumplings in the cozy dining rooms.
The wildlife park makes the hearts of friends of wild animals beat faster. On a total of 80,000 square meters there are 35 different animal species to admire. The tour should take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The respected animals include the raccoons with their eye-catching facial markings.
In addition, there is one of the rarest native wild animals to see: the wild cat. Unlike the well-behaved domestic cat, to which the wildcat is not related, it is an untamed, nocturnal predator that goes lonely to hunt mice.
Entry to the wildlife park is free for children under the age of six. Those who are so enthusiastic that they want to come more often can also purchase a season ticket. When feeding the animals, we ask that you buy a feed bag at the cash desk and refrain from taking your own food with you.
Experience the kings of the air: Birds of Prey Park Umhausen
One of the accepted excursion destinations in the Ötztal is the Ötzi village with the bird of prey park located there. In the village itself there are mainly old domestic breeds such as wild horses and woolly pigs to see.
There are several shows a day in the Birds of Prey Park, where impressive birds such as eagles, vultures, falcons, buzzards and owls can be admired. The good news: the birds live here in a species-appropriate manner and are cared for by professionally trained staff. The open-air arena offers space for around 400 visitors, who can watch spectacular swoops of the birds from there, among other things.
The program is rounded off by an educational trail that listens to the history of falconry. The Ötzi Village also offers a variety of different ways to experience the world of Ötzi’s times. Activities include shooting yew bows and baking flatbread.
By the way, anyone who wants to help the birds in the long term and want to give them the best possible care can also do so Take over sponsorship for one of the animals.
In the Umhausen Birds of Prey Park, there are shows that take place several times a day, allowing you to browse through the kings of the air up close. – Image by pralea vasile from Pixabay