The Wroclaw Zoological Gardens
The Wroclaw Zoological Gardens were founded as a joint-stock company and opened to the public on 10 July 1865. The initial collection of 189 animals soon expanded, to include rare specimens of animals, with the first in the world breeding of Malayan tapir. Major buildings were constructed only toward the end of the 19th century, some of them existing until nowadays.
World War II brought all development to a halt, causing annihilation of the animal collection and heavy damages to the animal houses.
After the War, under the auspices of the University of Wroclaw and with Karol Łukaszewicz,as the first Polish director the ZOO reopened on 18 July 1948. Since that time Wroclaw ZOO entered into a period of constant development. In 1966 Karol Łukaszewicz was succeeded by Dr Antoni Gucwinski. The Garden's area expanded from the initial 13 to 33 ha. Together with his wife Hanna he initiated the TV series "With a Camera Among the Animals”, broadcasted weekly for over 20 years.
2007 marked another turning point in the Wroclaw ZOO history, with Mr. Radoslaw Ratajszczak taking the lead as the Director. Since that time the ZOO is witnessing the dynamic growth, with numerous exhibits modernised or newly constructed. The most outstanding are: Sahara House, Small Mammal House, Rhino House, Okapi House, Odra River. The most current is Africarium with an area of nearly 18,000 m2 and a total water volume of 15,000 m3. Currently, Zoo Wroclaw is home of very varied collection, with a number of rare species, such as the Balabac mouse deer, Philippine scops owl, Luzon cloud rat, manatees, giant flying squirrel, bear cuscus, and okapi. In 2014 the number of visitors reached 861,000, which is the best result in the entire history of the zoo.