Dierenpark Emmen (also known as Noorder Dierenpark) was a large zoo located in Emmen in the northern province of Drenthe in the Netherlands. Due to financial difficulties the zoo decided in 2011 to reorganise. It closed at the end of 2015, but reopened early 2016 on another location as Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen.
Built in 1935 and completely renewed in 1970, Dierenpark Emmen was considered to be one of the finest zoos in Europe and has won various prizes. Animals live in carefully reconstructed natural habitats according to vegetation, climate, and elevation. Because of lack of space, a new, second site was opened in 1998 just outside Emmen. The two parts of the zoo were connected with each other and one ticket gave admission to both parts.
Conservation and breeding
The zoo has had great success breeding Asian elephants, with 26 births since 1992 and four births in 2010 and 2011 alone. In 2011 there were 13 elephants at the zoo, others having been transported to other zoos. The elephant accommodations comprise a large moated island for females and calves, and a separate smaller island for the bull, with indoor housing being underground.
Wildlands, adventure zoo Emmen
The city council of Emmen approved the construction of a completely new zoo, the Wildlands, which is expected to draw 1.3 million visitors annually. The new zoo was completed in March 2016 and is part of a plan for revitalizing the city center of Emmen. Visitors are able to walk from the new City plaza to the new zoo, which initially is about 22 hectares (54 acres) with an additional 26 hectares (64 acres) for expansion, and includes about 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft) of interior space, including a theater.
2012 Dutch time trial championships
The 2012 Dutch National Time Trial Championships for professionals and elite women's started in the zoo besides of the African savanna. It was the first time in history a cycle race started in a zoo. Riders rode along the zebras, giraffes, rhinos and hippos.