Allwetter Zoo in Muenster Welcomes New Baby Rhino
Over in Germany, the zoos are very clever at using events such as the hand rearing of baby animals to draw tourists. Then visitors post up their pictures on Flicker and put their videos on Youtube. This draw even more tourists. Following a great deal of publicity, a couple of years ago, I went to see the baby elephants at the Elephant Park at the Zoo in Cologne, and it was very fun. The delight of the children in the crowd was almost as good a show as seeing the animals. It's amazing to me that Brookfield zoo, which I understand can be easily reached by train from Chicago, has never caught on to this easy method of attracting visitors. Since I remember paying almost $20 to visit the Cologne zoo, more visitors can really help out the zoos with their programs.
Of course, the German press is very helpful in promoting visits to the new baby animals, providing seemingly endless high-quality, very cute photos. The zoos also dream up other ways to engage the community. In mid October, the Allwetterzoo will host a 35 minute ecumenical church service at 3pm with choir and orchestra. Cleverly, the service--not a bad idea in a town that has a miserable history when it comes to religious wars--will be right outside the gates of the zoo in the middle of a Sunday afternoon!