Odessa Zoo to celebrate its 90th anniversary

On September 8 and 9, numerous festive events dated for Odessa Zoo’s 90th anniversary will be held.

On September 8, a festive meeting will take place in Odessa City Council’s Big Hall. The representatives of Odessa municipal and regional authorities, Ukrainian Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, Euro-Asian Regional Zoos and Aquarium Parks Association, zoos, scientific and nature preserving establishments, and Odessa Zoo’s workers and veterans will take part in the meeting.

During the two-days long celebration, the following events will be held:
- festive concert in Odessa Zoo;
- fairytale show featuring numerous games, songs, dances, balloons launching;
- performances by merry clowns, stilts walkers, puppets, circus artists and trained animals.

Directors of Zoos of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other world countries were invited to take part in the celebration.

The very idea of creating the Odessa zoo appeared the day before celebrating the city’s 100th anniversary, in 1889, when the draft and the plan of «The Zoo on the Politseyskaya Str. Near the ravine» was made up, but they failed to embody this plan.

The next step to create the zoo was made in 1914. The project of building it on the Botanic garden territory was made up and agreed by the city Duma, but the World War I and the Civil War hindered these plans’ embodiment.

And only in 1922 the zoo building on Primoskiy boulevard in the Vorontsovskiy palace’s lower garden begun.

The main merit of Odessa first zoo organizing belongs to one of the energetic “Southclimate” society’s heads Heinrich Vladimirovich Beizert.

Despite a great amount of work carried out (construction of the grottos for lions, bears and tigers, pools for birds, small mountain for the mountain goats), the zoo garden had a lot of problems. These were both the lack of finances and the zoo territory’s being absolutely unsuitable for the animals’ placing. The city administration decided to close the zoo.

In December, 1927, the All-Union contest to make up an Odessa zoo project was announced. Three projects were accepted as a zoo building basis. Zoo building along the Arcadia road was begun in 1929. The basic works were being carried out on this territory: the landscape works were fulfilled, the dams along the main alley were constructed, the “Caucasian mountains” were begun to be built. The city administration was planning to put a part of the zoo in the act during 1930. The “Southclimate” society had already gathered a collection of animals for the zoo. But this project wasn’t fulfilled as well. Only the name of the street – the Zoo street – reminds of this. Despite all the difficulties, H.V.Beizert did continue to act tirelessly. In 1933, he’s appointed to the post of 4th State Zoo on the Privoz administrator. The institution itself belonged to the State Circus, which had located its zoo in the City Garden for several years, and then has moved to Privoz.

This time, the 1st Christian cemetery was liquidated in Odessa according to the City administration decree. In the end of the 30-ies, the Illyich park and a zoo appeared on the ex-cemetery territory. But the only archive document to prove the zoo opening in Novoshchepniy row Str., 25, was the zoo manager H.Beisert’s paper on the Regional Workers’ council executive committee session on March, 16, 1945, in which he announced that “Odessa zoo was organized on the Illyichevskiy park territory in 1937” without budget assigning and “was working on economical payment”. The zoo was opened for the visitors in 1938. The zoo is still located on this very place, near the famous Privoz.

In 1992, according to Ukraine’s law, the zoo received the status of all-state importance nature reserve and replenished the composition of Ukraine’s natural reserve fund.

Odessa Сity Сouncil