Just prior to Christmas, a male Giraffe was born at the Warsaw Zoo. New mom Lissy had difficulty feeding her calf so the Zoo’s staff have stepped in to assist.
For a short time, the calf also sported a bandage around his middle to help his umbilical cord heal.
Warsaw Zoological Garden was founded in 1928. Originally, it covered only 12 hectares (30 acres) of grounds (presently it is 40 hectares = 99 acres) and collected almost 500 animal specimens.
The 1930’s was a period of intense development of the Zoo, under management of Director Jan Żabiński. At that time, many facilities were constructed for exotic animals: Monkey House, Hippopotamus House, Elephant House, Giraffe House, Polar Bears’ Run and Seals’ Pool. The biggest success was birth of female Indian Elephant – Tuzinka in 1937. It was subsequently the twelfth Elephant born in captivity in the world, and until now the only in Poland.
In 1939 the Zoo terrain was enlarged to 32 hectares (79 acres), making Warsaw Zoo the largest in Europe.
In September 1939 – in time of the greatest prosperity – Warsaw Zoo ceased to exist. As a result of bombings that beset Warsaw, a part of the Zoo’s facilities were destroyed and many animals died. Most of the dangerous animals were shot down, on command of authorities. Some surviving animals went loose in the City, and the most valuable specimens, including Tuzinka were taken away to Germany. Their fate was never learnt, but it is believed they were relocated to Nazi game-hunting farms.
During WWII, former director of the Zoo, Jan Żabiński, and his wife risked their lives by rescuing over 300 Jews, many having hidden at their Zoo Villa.