Welcome to the jungle – Vienna’s wild citizens! – VIENNA/NOW

When people think of Vienna, they don’t necessarily think about wildlife, but with over 50% of this city covered in green, it makes it one of the greenest big cities in the world. You’ve got parks, you’ve got gardens, you’ve got a whole city that is surrounded by a beautiful forest. So, in this episode of VIENNA/NOW, we’re going to check out all of the nature, and also the wildlife, that Vienna has to offer. Let’s go. Today, we’ve left the grey and concrete parts of the city to the side, and I’m standing here with Georg, who’s a nature photographer, but he also runs a side project with his wife called Wiener Wildnis. There’s so much wildlife and nature to be seen in Vienna, many people are very surprised what we discover with our cameras. And that is what I would like to show you today. So, maybe we go on a little urban safari. Yay! We’re at the Wien River. It’s a small river, that runs from the Vienna Woods, the Wiener Wald, straight through the city to the first district. It serves almost like a highway for wildlife, which comes from the forest and this is the reason you might end up seeing a red fox in the first district, where you wouldn’t expect it. Now we are at the Steinhofgründe and close to the famous Otto Wagner Church, a landmark, that can be seen almost from all the points in Vienna. And it’s a very large recreation area that people like to come to and at the same time famous for its Art Nouveau architecture. We’re standing at one of the many entrances of Green Prater, which is a huge, huge, huge park in the middle of the city, so you have this incredible urban environment and lots of nature. And it might look innocent from here, but if you enter it, it’s a true jungle. Wherever beavers are living, it’s actually good for nature, there’s more fish, more birds, more wildlife to be seen. So, they’re a natural part of the area here and it’s very nice that in Vienna they’re given enough room to live. What part of the wildlife system of the urban jungle are you going to show us now? Well, this is a bit of a contrast to the places we’ve seen before. It’s less nature than you think, more urban surroundings, but it’s a good example, that even in places with lots of cars driving, and you see the Danube or the Danube City over there, a large bridge behind us, but there’s still wildlife to be found. There’s lots of rabbits here to be seen. You have to have a keen eye to spot them. There, you see one there, there’s two! Ah, so cute! You see it? Yes! Sweet! Gosh, there’s so many, it’s like a rabbit colony. Yeah! That’s been an amazing, amazing day, thank you and the Wiener Wildnis Tour and this urban wildlife, it’s been one of the best afternoons I’ve had in a while. That’s great to hear. You’re welcome. Bye! Another day, more wildlife and more nature in Vienna and today we’re at Lainzer Tiergarten. Although Tiergarten actually translates as being a zoo, here it’s more of a nature preserve, where you have lots of recreational green areas and over 6,000 acres of space. It’s one of the most relaxing places in the city, and I’ve got here with me Anton, hello!
– Hello. He’s a forest ranger here. Maybe you can tell us a bit about what it is, that you do here and the different kinds of animals we can see. I’m one of the rangers here in the area and my work is to keep the forest and the area and hunting also the animals; wild boar, fallow deer, mouflons, we have here and roebucks. The park also has a ferocious watch cat, as we can see. A hidden jewel in the middle of Lainzer Tiergarten is the Hermesvilla, which is behind me, which was originally given as a gift from emperor Franz Joseph to his wife Sisi, because he was trying to get her to stay in Vienna so much instead of travelling around the globe. Now, today, it’s run as part of the Vienna museum. It houses different collections and exhibitions you can see year-round. So, that was it for our episode of green and animal life in Vienna. Thank you so much Anton for showing us around, and I’m going to see what else we can find in more adventures in VIENNA/NOW. Until then, see you later.

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