Why is it so suspiciously silent here? “Chriiiiistian, Soooophie, you are not on the tablet yet again, are you?” “Um … no, dad, certainly not.”, it sounds from my eight-year-old son in the next room. And my four year old daughter, who doesn’t fib that much yet, adds very quickly: “At least not that long.”

Do you know this too, dear readers

what kind of almost weird fascination tablets and smartphones exert even on our little ones and how difficult it is to get the sweeties away?

Wasn’t everything much better

back in the days when we spent our own childhood everyday hours and hours in bright sunshine AND rainy weather in the great outdoors, watching animals in the woods or walking down the streets to the peasants? However, we can still bring animals and nature closer to our children today – even in this fairly large city Kiel. Even for free and with a lot of fun for the little ones. That’s why today the kids and I are going to the animal enclosure Tannenberg in Projensdorf– just one of six free wildlife enclosures and wildlife parks in Kiel and its direct environment.

“Sophie, Christian, shall we go to the animal enclosure Tannenberg today and watch great animals?”

“Who is that?”, Sophie asks me. “You mean WHERE that is. We just have to take bus number 41 to the bus stop Frerich-Frerichs-Allee to arrive a few meters away from the main entrance of the animal enclosure.” “Frerich-Frerichs, is that the name of a pig there?” Christian quips. “Not really, but wild boars are there too”, I reply. And here we go.
We had just gotten off the bus and walked approximately 300 m footpath from the entrance of the animal enclosure through the forest to see the first animals, when I hear Sophie calling:

“Oooooh, little piglets!!!”

It is the end of March, 3:45 p.m. and apparently the feeding of the wild boars had just taken place. Pleasantly grunting the animals are feasting on their pulpy food from two feeding troughs and some of the young wild boars are even standing right in the middle of them. It is particularly interesting to watch that there is plenty of jealousy about food between parents and young animals. So, we see with amusement how the parent animals utter a loud grunt every now and then and push the young animals off the feeding trough. In return the young animals answer with an even louder squeal and a quite funny jump out of the trough – to appear back in the feeding trough a few seconds later. And so, we watch the wild boars certainly for another 10 minutes as they ultimately emptying both feeding troughs completely.

Boar with piglet

On to the Damara goats. They lie calmly in the sun and doze. When a few other parents come over with their kids who put their little hands through the fence line, the goats grab the curiosity. They come up to the fence, snuffling the hands for something to eat and let themselves be stroked. Eagerly the cameras and smartphones are taken out – everyone wants to immortalise their little precious together with a few goats. In the meantime, my kids discover a big tree towards the goat enclosure. It has deep, thick limbs and in about 3 meters height two children are already sitting. Of course my little ones want to climb the tree immediately. With a slight uneasy feeling I let them do so – doesn’t look too dangerous. Retrospectively it was a lot of fun and was one of the highlights that was still discussed about days later.
Afterwards there was rather shy roe deer and sika deer behind fences to watch. But the real highlight was yet to come as we were on the way back to the main entrance:

“Listen up, there’s something rustling”,

Christian shouts in the middle of the silence. Probably startled by his shouting we see a few deer in about five meters away quickly crossing our way. Oh yeah, in this animal enclosure there is also fallow deer, roe deer and mouflons running free – but I’ve never expected to set eyes on even one of those shy animals. Things get even better: Suddenly less than 10 meters away a white deer appears. Glued to the spot it stays rigidly in the middle of the way and watches us. “Quiet”, Sophie whispers intuitively and Christian carefully steps up closer and closer to the deer. When the two are barely 2 meters away from each other, the animal shrugs its head briefly, seems to want to flee, but then stops and Christian can even pet it! Then the deer walks leisurely back into the undergrowth, as if it was the most normal thing in the world, and we all stand stunned for an hour (certainly it was just a minute) and gaze back at the deer wistfully. Because of my amazement I completely forgot to take a souvenir photo of Christian’s contact with the deer!

It all went down so well with my kids

that there was hardly any other conservation topic for the following days and my children certainly wish to repeat it. Since then we regularly visit this and the five other wildlife enclosures and wildlife parks in and around Kiel as many times as we feel like throughout the year.

The six animal parks in and around Kiel:

Tiergehege Tannenberg

Haupteingang links neben dem „Waldschänke Restaurant“, Projensdorfer Str. 232, 24106 Kiel
Buslinie 41, Haltestelle „Frerich-Frerichs-Allee“

Wildgehege Suchsdorf

Zwischen Nord-Ostsee-Kanal und der Ottendorfer Au
Buslinien 22, 41, 42, 703, Haltestelle „An der Au“ oder Haltestelle „Rungholtplatz“

Tiergehege Uhlenkrog

Zwischen Hasseer Straße/Uhlenkrog und der Struckdieksau
Buslinien 50, 51, Haltestelle „Uhlenkrog“

Wildgehege Hasseldieksdamm

Zwischen Skandinaviendamm u. d. Struckdieksau
Buslinien 100, 101, Haltestelle „Wittland“ oder
Buslinien 6, 31, 91, 704, Haltestelle „Melsdorfer Straße“

Wildgehege Hammer

Zwischen Ihlseeweg und Ihlkatenweg
Buslinie 5, Haltestelle „Ihlseeweg“

Wildpark Schwentinental

Beim Freibad Schwentinental: Jahnstraße 1, 24223 Schwentinental
Gut vom Bahnhof Raisdorf aus erreichbar,
von dort aber noch rund 1 km Fußweg.