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House for Beasts of Prey

In biology the term "beasts of prey" describes a group of mammals with common characteristics of anatomy and behaviour. Thus most of the beasts of prey feed on meat and therefore have the same dental formation. The House for Beasts of Prey at Wilhelma is in actual fact a house for big cats, as there are only big cats to be seen here. Many other beasts of prey belong to other enclosures, compounds and houses, for instance bears, slender-tailed meerkats or else sea lions as representatives of aquatic beasts of prey.

Big cats from various parts of the globe live in the House for Beasts of Prey. One of them is the North Persian leopard, which is very much endangered. There are now not even 50 animals left in the wild. And so it is all the nicer to know that young ones are regularly reared at Wilhelma.

Another impressive animal is the black jaguar, also called black panther. Its black coat is due to a special hereditary transmission, whereby the yellow pigment for the usual stripes is missing. The large and attractive open compound of the Sumatran tigers is used by these animals to the full, especially when they have got little ones. Then the young tigers romp through the shrubbery, climb up the trees and watch mother drinking from the moat. In their home country the amount of Sumatran tigers is also dwindling. The reason for this is poaching and the destruction of the environment. We aim to preserve the species by means of breeding programmes carried out by zoological gardens.

Outside the house, in an open-air enclosure directly behind the exit, there is also a representative of the canine beasts of prey: the little bush dogs from the rainforests of South America. And opposite the House for Beasts of Prey in an own enclosure you can find the elegant, slender cheetahs.