Biblical Zoo - Tisch Family Zoological Gardens
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo was originally established
in 1940 as a tiny little children's zoo on Harav Kook Street in central Jerusalem. The zoo was founded
and established by the late Prof. Aharon Shulov, one of the pioneers
in the field of zoology at the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem. In 1941, a somewhat larger zoo was established
on Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem. This one covered an area of 4.5
dunams (0.45 hectares, or just over one acre). In 1947 the zoo was moved
to Mt. Scopus, where the Hebrew University had a plot of land set aside
for it. As a result of the evident suffering of the animals during and
after Israel's War of Independence
in 1948, a decision was made to transfer the zoo
once again, this time to a new and larger area of 60 dunams (6 hectares,
or just under 15 acres) in Givat Komuna, adjacent to the neighbourhood
of Romema. The zoo remained here for 41 years, from 1950 to 1991. During
this time it gradually developed into a well-known and beloved attraction.
The old zoo closed in 1991, and the process of moving to the new location
Today, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, as it is still unofficially
known, stretches across an area of 250 dunams (25 hectares or 62 acres)
in a lovely valley surrounded by green hills and new neighbourhoods.
The zoo encircles a small lake situated near the main gate. The lake
is fed by a series of pools and waterfalls that flow one into the other.
Spacious lawns and shady beauty spots surround the lake and pools. The
water system is artificial, and relies on recycled water. The zoo is
built on two main levels that house most of the animal exhibits. One
main, circular route extends the length of both levels and connects
most of the sites on the zoo grounds. Additional side paths also connect
the two levels, and exhibits are situated along these paths as well.
Since its opening, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has been
operated by a company that was specifically established for this purpose.
The zoo is therefore being run as a corporation, while at the same time
being recognized as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) both in Israel
and abroad. The zoo is the product of the combined efforts and investments
of the Municipality of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem
Development Authority, and the Israel
Ministry of Tourism.
The ownership of the zoo is shared and divided evenly among the Municipality
of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation, and the Jerusalem Development
Authority. The zoo's Board of Directors consists of 18 members.
The establishment of the zoo in its present form was made possible thanks
to the generosity of Tisch family of New
York, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation. The dedication
ceremony took place in the presence of the President of the State of
Israel at the time, the late Chaim
Herzog, and members of the Tisch family, in November 1992.
On February 28, 1993, the zoo opened its doors to the
public for a preview period. The official opening ceremony took place
on September 9, 1993.
The zoo was designed by Miller-Blum & Associates Landscape Architects,
and was constructed by the Moriah - Jerusalem Development Corporation.
Since its opening, the zoo has added many new exhibits and features.
Thanks mostly to the efforts of the Jerusalem Foundation, we were fortunate
to receive the generous donations that were needed for each addition,
so that the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo could develop into the institution
that it is today.
Contact Information / Hours of Operation
Address: Jerusalem Biblical Zoo,
P.O.B 898, Jerusalem, 91008
Sunday - Thursday: 9:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Friday and Holiday Eves: 9:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Saturday and Holidays 10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.