The Silesian Zoo (Śląski Ogród Zoologiczny) is one of the main attractions of the Silesian Park. It was created in the 1950s when the local authorities decided to liquidate the zoos in Bytom and Katowice, and build a larger, 50-hectare complex to keep and exhibit exotic animal species from around the world. Entering the Silesian Zoo, you will pass through the historic gate which used to mark the entrance to the Donnersmarck family palace complex in Świerklaniec.
The zoo houses nearly 3,000 animals belonging to over 300 species of flora and fauna.
The majority of the Silesian Zoo’s inhabitants are fish, with around 1,200 specimens, followed by around 600 birds. The zoo also has a large variety of mammals, such as African elephants, hippopotamuses, bears, bisons, Siberian tigers, gazelles, guerezas and lemurs. The Silesian Zoo has one of the largest populations of African animals in Poland, and also a number of endangered species.
Recently, the zoo welcomed back penguins for the first time in 43 years. The specially prepared infrastructure, including a massive outdoor pool, allows the visitors to see those adorable birds up close.
The Silesian Zoo has undergone a major transformation in recent years, significantly expanding its infrastructure to accommodate new animal species. New investments include the house for gibbons, the new run for Humboldt penguins, as well as new facilities for giraffes, rhinos and cheetahs, and upgrades to several existing buildings (exotarium, aquarium, the gazelle house and the ape house).