Sunday Stroll: Tiergehege Tannenberg

As an Australian, I am accustomed to weird and wonderful wildlife roaming the bushland of my country. Almost instinctively, I expect an amble through, around, across the great outdoors to bring with it at the very least a very big lizard, or a multicoloured parrot of some sort. I still, living in a land where the most dangerous thing you may encounter on a Sunday stroll is a wasp, think any flickering in my peripheral vision could be a snake. And I believe I will always fight the urge to tip my boots upside down before putting them on.

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However, as an Australian raised on Enid Blyton, there are several creatures I find particularly thrilling; squirrels, badgers, red breasted robins, hedgehogs, deer, foxes, wild ponies, and bumblebees. And you know how I feel about pigs. Thankfully, around where we live, there are several nature and animal parks where I can frolic with a significant number of Blyton’s cast of characters, some wild, some not so wild. And with Autumn in the air, russet-red squirrels are gamboling about with their snowy bellies, and every time I see one, I stand still like a three year old and follow its speedy journey from branch to branch to branch. I’m not the only one – I saw a grown man almost on his knees the other day, mugging happily at a tree trunk as a squirrel ran around it.

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This weekend’s Ausflug saw us driving fifteen minutes down the road to Tannenberg Park, a protected wildlife park that is home to several species of wild deer and, most happily, wild pigs. I have been desperate to encounter a wild pig in the wild – from a safe distance, with some sort of body armour on – since learning of the things a few years ago. Tannenberg Park has a colony of wild pigs safely fenced in, and at the moment, two of the dearest little striped piglets.

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Wisely kept separate from the little striped ones, were some rather riotous teen pigs who were as fast as the wind. My God, let me never meet a full grown wild pig with tusks. I can’t run and I can’t climb trees – not with any particular speed at my old age.

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Some fenced in Japanese deer provided adequate deer-related excitement until. on our way out … REAL WILD DEER. (I actually developed the most thrilling game for when we used to drive across the country a lot … every time I spotted a wild deer, I yelled out ‘deer!’. The game can also be amended to yelling out the name of the country a fellow driver is from – Germany obviously doesn’t count.)

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The park is also home to an abundance of russet-coloured squirrels, dancing around, busily preparing for winter. Alas, they were even speedier than those teen pigs and didn’t allow one in-focus picture. But they were so cute, and their bellies so very snow-white.

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8 Replies to “Sunday Stroll: Tiergehege Tannenberg”

  1. Dear Liv,
    as a German living in New Zealand (you know, not the same, but from halfway round the Earth, practically one county), I do so enjoy your posts about your experiences in Germany via an Antipodean lense. Every time I go back to visit, I feel much like you do: the strange expat existence, nicht what?
    Just wanted to let you know that I’m happy I found your blog, and enjoy your updates!
    Gunhild

    1. Thank you so much. You and I have swapped hemispheres. It is funny when you go back ‘home’ to visit – it feels, often, as if you never left, but simultaneously as if you have been gone a lifetime. So very odd.

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