Kraków Zoo

Kraków, Poland

Kraków Zoo


The Kraków Zoo (Polish: Ogród Zoologiczny w Krakowie) is located in Kraków, Poland and was established in 1929. It is home to over 1500 animals and about 260 species. The zoo is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The first mention of exotic animals being kept in Kraków dates back to 1406, when a pair of lions was transported from Florence to Kraków. Before the Zoological Garden in Kraków was established, a royal menagerie had existed on the Wawel Hill in the Middle Ages. The collection included such animals as monkeys, camels, lions, leopards, and many species of rodents. When King Sigismund III Vasa transferred the capital of Poland from Kraków to Warsaw in 1596, the menagerie experienced a period of decline. In the 18th and 19th centuries a number of other private menageries were established in various parts of Kraków, such as the Kraków Park (now the Marek Grechuta Park in Kraków). The activists of the Kraków branch of the Polish Copernicus Society of Naturalists Wincenty Wober, Kazimierz Maślankiewicz, Leon Holcer, and Karol Łukaszewicz conceived the idea to establish a zoological garden in Kraków and to locate it in Las Wolski, near the Camaldolese Hermit Monastery in Bielany.

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