FAQ

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Visiting Korkeasaari Zoo

Where can I find a map of the Zoo area?
Free maps with a programme and services are available at ticket office. You can also find the map from the Explore page.
Can I reserve a stroller, trolley or a wheelchair?
You can rent a stroller at the Korkeasaari Zoo’s gate and at the harbor. There are plenty of them, but they might temporarily run out on a busy day. Renting stroller costs three euros; you can’t reserve one beforehand. The stroller has one seat for a small child. At the moment, there are no rentable trolleys or wheelchairs at the Zoo.
Can I bring my own bicycle, skateboard or scooter to the Zoo?
Adults need to go on foot. For kids under seven years old, bikes, hover boards, scooters, sleds and bobsleds are allowed.
Can I bring my own dog with me?
It’s not allowed to bring pets to the Korkeasaari Zoo. The zoo is a quarantine area, so all animal traffic to and from the island is controlled, due to the risk of spreading animal diseases. Your own pets won’t really enjoy watching the animals the same way an animal lover does, and the presence of a pet can disturb the animals in the Zoo. Same rule applies to service dogs and other animals.
Do you have a place to store my luggage during the visit?
Unfortunately there is no repository area in the Zoo. Nearest safety boxes are in the shopping centre REDI, about 15mins walk from the Zoo in Kalasatama area. There is also a parking hall, and Kalasatama is the nearest metro stop from Korkeasaari Zoo. There are also large safety boxes in the Central Railway Station, which is where the Zoo bus no 16 operates from.
Can I take pictures of the animals and post them on social media?
Taking pictures of the animals is allowed in the whole Zoo area – and even encouraged. Tag us and use the #korkeasaari hashtag!
Please do not cross the protective fences by the enclosures and stay on the areas that are reserved for visitors, because even the harmless looking animals can sometimes be dangerous. Drones are not allowed.
Does the Korkeasaari Zoo have clear walkways?
The terrain of Korkeasaari Zoo is uneven. There are steep hills when going from the bridge to the middle of the island, as well as in the middle of the island, on both sides of the horsy highland. These hills can be difficult for people in wheelchairs. However, nearly every route is asphalted and well ploughed during the winter, because when snowfall occurs, the routes can become temporarily slushy.

There are some staircases in the Korkeasaari Zoo, but you can also see the animals without using the stairways. There are ramps to the higher landing of the Bear Castle and to the restaurant Pukki. In the tropical houses, Amazonia is wheelchair accessible, but the aisles in Africasia can be too narrow and curvy for wheelchairs, although you can still move around with strollers there. The only access to the Lookout Tower and to the Monkey Castle’s upper viewing area is through the stairways.

On the island, there are several bathrooms equipped for the disabled open year-round, and you can find one bathroom at the zoo gates. There are several benches and resting areas along the walkways. All the ferries are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Where can I smoke in the zoo?
Korkeasaari Zoo is essentially a non-smoking island. Smoking is allowed only in three areas, on different sides of the island. These areas are on the waterfront near the Zoo Shop, on the waterfront by the Bear Castle, and next to the restaurant Pukki. These areas are marked on the map.
Where can I get information about lost property?
Lost property will be delivered to the main entrance gate (on Mustikkamaa Island), where you can reclaim your property by yourself. Lost property can be enquired about from this number: +358 50 352 5989.

Property left to the zoo will be kept at the gate for two weeks. After that, valuables will be delivered to the police department’s lost & found office. Unfortunately, Korkeasaari Zoo can’t mail lost property to its owners, as there are thousands of pieces of lost property turned in each year. Thus, we couldn’t contact all the owners of lost property, even if they ask us to.

The Lost & found Office of the Helsinki Police Department
Helsingin poliisilaitoksen löytötavaratoimisto
Pasilanraitio 13
00240 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358 (0)295 477 912 (mon – fri mornings from 9 to 11 GMT+2)

Restaurants

Is there a restaurant at Korkeasaari Zoo and if so, what are the opening hours?
Marcante Oy is in charge of the Korkeasaari Zoo’s restaurant services. In the summertime, several restaurants and kiosks are open at the Zoo. There is always at least one restaurant serving during the zoo’s opening hours. You can find information and the opening hours of the restaurants and cafeterias on the Zoo map.
Can I grill my own food at the Zoo?
The hut in Korpi area (Finnish nature), on the south beach of the island, is open and free to use year-round if it has not been rented to a private occasion. The hut can fit approximately 15 people, and there is a grill and barbecue charcoal provided by the zoo. There are also several self-use outdoor grills, and you can find the grilling areas on the Zoo map. The barbecue charcoal can be found in the boxes next to the grills. It is recommended that you bring your own utensils for turning your food. The making of open fires and the usage of single-use grills is prohibited in the Korkeasaari Zoo, due to the risk of fire.
Can I eat my own food inside the Korkeasaari Zoo’s buildings?
There are several snack areas at the Korkeasaari Zoo. Large ones are by the Bear Castle and the other is in the lobby of Amazonia Tropical House. The lobby of the latter can seat 15 to 20 people; the Bear Castle can seat even more. Both of these places have a microwave and running water. There are several covered picnic tables on the island during the summertime, and grills for you to use.

Animals

When do the zookeepers feed the animals?
Feeding times at certain hours are indicated in the posters at the main entrance and behind the map. Many species are fed when the enclosures are cleaned, before the zoo opens. Some species are fed several times a day. Many species, such as hay eaters, have a dinner in addition to breakfast. The big cats of the Cat Valley eat only every other day. Some of the animals in the Amazonia and Africasia Tropical Houses may eat only once a week or even more rarely – maybe only once a month!
What time are you most likely to see the animals?
The animals are most likely to be seen during feeding times. Because the animals follow their own schedules, there is no way to predict when you can see them. As part of their wellbeing, the animals have the option to hide if they want, and the outdoor enclosures provide good places to draw back from sight. The animals don’t usually spend time in the indoor spaces during the Zoo’s opening hours. Several species are fed before the zoo opens, so the people arriving right at 10 o’clock may see the animals eating breakfast.

There are some animals, for example in Cat Valley, who like to snooze in their enclosures during the summer heat. They are more on the move during the cooler hours of the mornings and the evenings. For example, the often-hiding lynx moves around a lot during wintertime, while the bears are hibernating. The mammals in the tropical houses (small monkeys & dwarf mongooses) often go to sleep early in the afternoon, but generally earlier in the winter, later in the summer.

Which animals can I see during the winter time?
The species selected for Korkeasaari Zoo are the ones that can manage in the Finnish climate year around. That’s why most of the species are displayed throughout the year, even during the winter season. Animals which are most sensitive to cold (kangaroos, emus, pygmy goats etc), spend their winter inside, out of the sight of visitors. You are able to peek into the inside area of the Barbary macaques and peacocks during the winter season.

The bears are usually hibernating from November to the beginning of March, and are not on display in the winter season. In the Cat Valley, the hatches to the warm indoors are kept open for the Asian lions, so that they can choose where they want to be. Amur leopards are also able to go inside, but usually choose to stay outside, as they are not so sensitive to the cold.

Which animals have babies?
The animals in Korkeasaari Zoo have babies throughout the year. The most vibrant season is the beginning of the summer when calves are born and birds hatch. The baby animals are taken care of by their parents until they grow old enough to get their own space in the Zoo, move to other zoos, or are released into nature.
Can I buy feathers or other animal parts from Korkeasaari Zoo?
Korkeasaari Zoo can’t give or sell feathers or any other material from animals because of the risk of animal disease. Feathers found in the Zoo area are not allowed to be taken out of the zoo.
Where do you get the animals from?
Animals come from other zoos; they are not bought or sold and they are not captured from nature. Reputable zoos trade animals with each other. When babies are born, they usually can’t stay in their home zoo when they grow up, so they are transported to another zoos, where there is a spouse for the animal or a suitable group of their species. Exchanging endangered animals is regulated by a coordinator of species to insure that close relatives don’t have offspring. This way the species’ genetic base in zoos remains vibrant.

A few animals Korkeasaari Zoo, such as the Barbary macaques and the raccoons, were abandoned or confiscated pet animals before they were brought to the Zoo. In Korkeasaari, they can be provided with facilities suitable for the needs of the species, which is usually not possible in home circumstances.

Some animals have also come to Korkeasaari Zoo from our own Wildlife Hospital. Not all injured animals found in nature can be treated in a way that would enable them to survive independently back in nature. If an animal recovers well but can’t survive in nature because of an injury or lack of an important sense or skill, this rules out the possibility of being returned to nature. The animal can stay in the zoo if it gets an individual permit from authorities.

Do the animals have names?
The zookeepers name the animals so that their names begin with a different letter every year. Not every single animal gets a name. The names are primarily used by the zookeepers to help them, for example, recognize the individuals.
Can I collect peacock feathers from the Zoo area?
It is prohibited to collect feathers or any other animal parts from the Zoo area, due to a risk of diseases. For the same reason the Zoo doesn’t sell feathers or other animals parts.
Can I feed or pet the animals in the Zoo?
Although the animals in the zoo are used to being around people, they are not domesticated and can behave unpredictably – bite, kick, gore or scratch. For example, camels have eaten gloves right off of people’s hands. Pygmy goats, which live in the goat yard during the summer, are the only animals that you are allowed to touch.

Animals get indigestion problems and can in the worst cases even die if they get wrong kind of food. So do not feed the animals and let the zookeepers feed them with the proper food.

Organization

How many employees are there in Korkeasaari Zoo?
There are about 80 permanent employees, and seasonal workers increase the number during summers. In addition, employees of the various restaurants and ferries work in the zoo area.
If you are interested in working with us, send us an email with your resume: zoo.rekrytointi (a) korkeasaari.fi
How many visitors does Korkeasaari Zoo have annually?
There are around half a million visitors annually in Korkeasaari Zoo. The busiest season is summer, from May to August, July being the most popular month. The zoo is open throughout the year.
Who owns Korkeasaari Zoo?
Korkeasaari Zoo is a foundation, officially named Korkeasaaren eläintarhan säätiö sr. The foundation started operating on the 1st of January 2018. Before that Korkeasaari Zoo was owned by the City of Helsinki.

As a foundation, Korkeasaari Zoo is administratively more independent than before, though it remains part of the Helsinki City Group and the city continues to support its operations. Korkeasaari Zoo is also able to participate more widely in international animal conservation work than before, and develop both fundraising and co-operation with various companies. The foundation takes care of the Zoo area and property, as well as developing zoo services. Thanks to becoming a foundation, the zoo is able to implement innovations more flexibly. The foundation of the Korkeasaari Zoo is a nonprofit organization and does not seek financial gain.

The zoo was established in 1889, which makes it one of the oldest zoos in the world.