Friends make the difference

Diergaarde Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo) is one of Europe’s most beautiful zoo’s. But we can make it even better!

The Friends of Blijdorp (Rotterdam Zoo) have been supporting our zoo since 1963 both financially and via good will activities. In the past we have helped realise modern exhibits for Polar Bears, Tigers, Elephants, Gorilla’s and Amour leopards as well as the walk-through aviary for birds of prey ‘Gierenrots’ and ‘Amazonica’ our butterfly paradise. We have gifted the Okapi exhibit and gave the elephants a comfortable sand floor for their indoor enclosure. In 2019 we opened a Nature Conservation Centre in the ‘Oceanium’.

The Friends of Blijdorp also contribute to Blijdorp’s nature conservation projects in the wild. In recent years these have included studies of Homerus swallowtail, Vultures, Turtles, Red Pandas and Okapi’s.

Over the years the Friends have gifted many millions to help make Blijdorp a more beautiful zoo, giving more than 50 exhibits as well as contributing to these animal conservation projects.

An overview of our donations can be found here.

But there is more. A membership also provides you with a number of benefits:

• Members yearly receive two free admission tickets which they can give to friends (or use themselves) to encourage others to visit Blijdorp.
• Four times a year members receive our colourful magazine ‘Vriendennieuws’.
• Members have the opportunity to travel with other Friends, visiting other zoos in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries.
• In the winter months Blijdorp staff organise informative lectures for members.
• Members are kept up-to-date on a regular basis via ‘Vriendenmail’, a newsletter containing the latest developments in Blijdorp and the Friends association.

So, as a Friend you will be well informed about Blijdorp and the animals before- and behind-the-scenes.

In the centre of Blijdorp you can find the ‘Vriendenbazaar’, our heart in the zoo combining a shop for plush animals and other animal related gifts with an information centre about our association. Open to all visitors to Blijdorp, it is staffed by more than 50 volunteers prepared to answer any and all questions concerning the ‘Friends’ association activities.

In November 2014 the Friends of Blijdorp association was presented with a Royal Medal of Honor by Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam. This medal was awarded by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, recognizing and endorsing the special and active nature of our association for our contributions in making Blijdorp an even more beautiful zoo as well as supporting world wide nature conservation!