Today, Bill and I discovered yet another kid friendly local attraction that we should have discovered years ago. I am not sure how we missed it after being in this area for a total of five years. Nevertheless, this afternoon we visited Wildpark Pforzheim for the very first time and we both had a blast.
The Wildpark Pforzheim is a really cool park full of wild animals, many of whom are no longer all that wild. Quite a few animals at the park can be fed zoo feed, which you can purchase at the park. A few animals can also be petted in the petting zoo.
Amazingly enough, there is no entrance fee for this park. You just pay for parking– five euros for three hours (ETA: I’m told it’s only two euros on weekdays). And, if you want to feed the animals, that’s another two euros. Naturally, there’s also a biergarten. I think we spent a grand total of 21 euros for parking, one little bucket of food, and a snack of wurst, fries, and beer. We did pay six euros total as a pfand for the beer glasses, but that was refunded after we returned them.
Anyway… here are some photos I took today, along with some lightweight commentary. I think this will go down as another great weekend activity, especially if you have kids who love animals. Dogs are also allowed at the park, as long as they are on a leash (though I did see a couple who weren’t).
This is the entrance to the park. It’s a surprisingly big place. Several parking areas are available, but it was still a bit crowded today.
The first thing Bill did was buy some food. You can buy it at a stand near the biergarten, or at one of the many machines scattered around the park. The animals that get this food are quite ready for you to offer it to them.
The animals that can be fed will have green signs on their enclosures.
The ones that aren’t allowed to be fed will have red signs. Be careful with this. If you get caught feeding animals that aren’t supposed to be fed, you will be stuck with the vet bill and kicked out the park.
Bill being the good provider…
There are cool carvings all over the park.
These two alpacas were very keen to be fed. They stuck their heads out in an attempt to vacuum some food from my outstretched palm.
A honey exhibit. We stopped in on the way out of the park. They show you how they collect it and sell some products there.
A very friendly creature… followed me eagerly down the fence line begging for food.
This one was not quite as eager.
I love donkeys and they had several lovable ones at the park.
The Highland cow was a little bit tricky. Basically, the mouth opens, the tongue sticks out, and you dump some food on it.
In the honey bee exhibit…
There were also a couple of aquariums.
A fish otter… sleek and shiny slips out of the water.
This deer got the last of my food. She was working it.
So was he!
A cooperative owl.
The Wildpark Pforzheim also has a small ropes course, complete with ziplining, rope bridges, and climbing walls.
I wish I were more athletic. Parts of this really looked like fun!
Smaller kids also have lots of activities to occupy them. I took notice of several play areas for kids under age twelve. The equipment was very sturdy looking and was well attended by happy children.
Kissing geese. The animals in this area had signs on their enclosures showing the people sponsoring their care.
Donkeys grooming each other.
These two started butting antlers after I gave them a snack.
I’m not certain, but I think these pacifiers are left by people looking to have kids. Someone can correct me if I got the wrong idea. They were over by the chickens. ETA: My German friend Susanne has corrected me about the pacifiers. Here’s her explanation…
LOL – I have to correct you, because you got the wrong idea about the pacifiers. You even have the answer written on one of your photos. It’s a so called Schnullerbaum. An idea born in Denmark (1920’s). It’s for the children to help them to say goodbye to their pacifier often combined with a nice ceremony. ‘Ich bin jetzt ja schon groß und lasse meinen Schnuller los. Dem Taubenhaus geb ich ihn her, jetzt hab ich keinen Schnuller mehr! Die Tauben haben ihren Spaß: und ich geb jetzt ohne Schnuller Gas! – oder so ähnlich, couldn’t read the whole text because of the pacifiers. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schnullerbaum
I loved the owls. They were so majestic!
There was one mini horse…
A good snack for after our walk. They also had ice cream, soft drinks, and wine. The nearby bathrooms were clean and ample and there was no Klofrau looking for 50 cents.
Another play area for small kids.
I do love animals very much, but even I was surprised by how much fun I had interacting with all of them at the Wildpark today. Most of them were really tame and happy to take food gently. A few were bonafide hams in front of my camera.
Bill and I were marveling at how many awesome things there are to do in Germany… and how little they cost to do. I was telling him that in America, it would probably cost $40 a person to attend a place like this, plus parking, overpriced food, and constant encouragement to buy souvenirs. Also, there would be a lot less animal feeding going on and constant supervision by bored minders. I love that here in Germany, there are places like the Wildpark where people are trusted not to be stupid… and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time.
So… I highly recommend the Wildpark Pforzheim, especially if you have youngsters who love animals. It’s a really good time! I think I liked it even more than Monkey Hill.