Tallinn Zoo is a zoo in Tallinn, Estonia that was founded in
1939. It is the only zoo in Estonia, and as of 2008 it housed
7158 animals representing 619 species. In 1937, a team of
Estonian marksmen won the World Champion title in Helsinki. They
brought back with them a young lynx, named Illu. Illu became the
first exhibit in the zoo, which was formally opened on 25 August
1939. The lynx was later chosen to be the zoo's emblem animal.
Inititally the zoo was based on the edge of Kadriorg Park.
Estonia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940,
delaying the planned development of the zoo. It relocated to a
87-hectare (210-acre) site in the Veskimetsa district in 1983.
Tallinn Zoo has the World's largest mountain goat and sheep
collection, and a large eagle and owl collection. The zoo has
two tropic houses which include animals crocodiles and other
reptiles, as well as fishes, exotic birds, marmosets,
chimpanzees, and mongooses. The Elephant house was built in 1989
to celebrate zoo's 50 birthday. The elephant house includes
snakes, African elephants, pygmy hippos, armadillos, and rodents.
The Alpinarium has been part of the zoo since 2004. In the
Alpinarium you can find mountain sheep, ibex and snow leopards.
The Middle-Asia complex was built in 2002, and includes animals
like Przewalski's horses, Bactrian camels, bison, yak, and
hyaenas. Near the Middle-Asia complex you can find pheasants,
and water bird lakes that are home to ducks, pelicans, swans,
and other water birds. Hawk mountain is home to eagles, vultures
and owls. Here you can find different vultures, golden eagles,
Steller's sea eagles, barn owls and many other eagles and owls.