Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
A Great Family Experience

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens known commonly as the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is one of Israel’s main Tourist Attractions.

As a matter of fact during the year 2005 to 2009 it was Israel’s “main” tourist attraction with a record 738,000 visitors during 2009.

The beautiful man made lake at the Jerusalem Zoo

Mission of the park

The original mission when built was to exhibit as many species of animals featured in the Bible, according to how many are still alive.

So, many Bible species are presented and many more that are not shown on the Bible. It’s a zoo in all its glory, like any other zoo in the world.

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Sculpture Park at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo playground

Great for children

It is located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Malcha south of the city. It is built around a man made lake featuring waterfalls, and side pools covering over 64 acres of lawns and well manicured beauty spots. The wildlife savannah provides free space for roaming to the animals.

A train serves the visitors providing transportation throughout the park with several stations along the route.

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo includes a children’s zoo and a corner for petting the animals along with playgrounds for the little ones, besides a snack bar for small recesses.

During holiday periods, when the zoo is really full of visitors you may find tours to some less fearsome animals, so the children can interact with them.

There is now, a new garden featuring the Noah’s Ark sculptures designed by artist Nikki de Saint Phalle, the one that designed the “Mifletzet” or Monster children’s slide in Kiryat Hayovel, Jerusalem, and by Architect Mario Botta designer of the Tel Aviv University’ Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Cultural Center.

Fabulous Flamingos that remind me The Bahamas and Bermuda

Brief History

It opened in the year 1940, before the Independence of the State of Israel, by Aharon Shulov a professor of Zoology in the Hebrew University in Mount Scopus, Jerusalem. His main purpose was to create an environment for his students to gather animals, reptiles and birds mentioned in the Bible and as a research facility. His 1951 words are quoted: “To build and invisible wall between the intellectuals of Mt Scopus and the general public”.

They ran into several difficulties at the very beginning. Being the first one the complaints of the neighbors about smell and noise.

But the most important was how to bring to the reality of the 20th century the Hebrew words for animals line Nesher, meaning Eagle in Hebrew, but can also mean Vulture.

And the other challenge was that most of the Biblical animals are now extinct in Israel due to over hunting the destruction of natural reserves during the centuries before the regulations of the state like the State of Israel. Therefore it was decided by the zoologists and the people in charge of the zoo to go further besides Biblical animals to any other animals to grow in the zoo.

Persian Fallow Deer at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Partial list of the animals the visitor may enjoy at the zoo:

  • White rhinoceros
  • Asian Lion
  • Giraffe
  • Syrian Brown Bear
  • Tamarin
  • Nile crocodile
  • Serval
  • Mandrill
  • Ostrich
  • Flamingo
  • Python
  • Zebra
  • Eastern Grey Kangaroo
  • Persian fallow deer
  • Lemur
  • Otter
  • Jackass penguin
  • Squirrel monkey
  • Meerkat
  • Prairie Dog
  • Nubian ibex
  • Lorikeets
  • Mallard Duck
  • Cheetah
  • South American tapir
  • Siamang
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Chimpanzee

At the Zoo the children may interact with the smaller animals

Please visit the website of the zoo at: Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Or by calling:
While in Israel (02) 675-0111
Or from abroad +972-2-6750111

credits for images:
flamingos by super jew
lake by yoninah
sculpture park by yoninah
persian fallow deer by superjew
child by yoninah

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

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