About the ZOO - history

Zoo Chleby was founded on the 5th of June 1997. The zoo was built on the foundations of a previous private collection of animals, which Dana and René Franěk used to have in Úvaly near Prague. As the collection was expanding with attractive exotic species (Red-tailed Amazon, Hyacinth Macaw, Great Indian Hornbill, Green-billed Toucan, etc.), the public interest seemed to grow. Many often visited to watch rare Pheasants, Cranes, Parrots, Toucans, etc. The small garden area by the family house was soon not large enough and it was necessary to look for a new place - not for private breeding,  but with the goal of building a full-scale zoo.

photo from an era of the building of the zoo (~1995)photo from an era of the building of the zoo (~1995)

In 1997, a long uninhabited and unused, heavily damaged manse in a small village called Chleby (near Nymburk) was chosen. With intense work of the Franěk family and the help of their friends, the zoo was gradually built up. Pheasants (including Crested Fireback, Great Argus, Tragopans...), birds of prey (Rhinoceros Hornbills, etc.). Since the beginning a wide range of flora has also been present.

Many visitors quickly found their way into the zoo and the number of them kept increasing. In 2004, the zoo became a full member of EARAZA (Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and was the first post-revolutionary private zoo in the country to obtain a license by the Ministry of the Environment. Already in the first years of its existence, the zoo achieved remarkable successes in breeding - for example repeated breedings of Rhinoceros Hornbill, the first breeding of Temminck’s Tragopan in the country, a breeding of See-see Partridge and Caucasian Grouse (the first in the world).

In the following years the zoo, thanks to its own efforts as well as the efforts of numerous volunteers, dynamically expanded. Species of animals were diversificated and added were a children’s zoo, a pavilion “Angkor Wat” (for Gibbons), a giant freshwater aquarium “Elbe”, a cheetah pavilion “Livingstone House”, and a collection of concrete sculptures displaying recently extinct animals, displays of Meerkats, Ring-tailed Lemurs, etc. Significantly improved was also the infrastructure and customer service.

aerial view of the nascent zoo (~2000)aerial view of the nascent zoo (~2000)

Zoo with its area of only 0.6 hectares, was among the smallest in the country. However, that has changed, too. In 2008 a parcel of land with a size of 3.7 hectares was bought, located just across the road from the zoo. Administrative processes took a few years before it was possible to build and expand the zoo. First a parking lot was built, thousands of trees and bushes were planted, engineering sites were realized, and by the end of 2012 the first animals were added - Camels. In the following year, thanks to a grant received by the Ministry of Agriculture, constructions of a modern environmental center in traditional barn style and of a large playground began. More work is still ongoing. The zoo is constantly growing and still keeps visitors satisfied with a friendly, even family-like atmosphere. More than 70 species from all continents (except Antarctica) and numerous plants (i.e bamboos) are to be seen there.

    Open Hours and Admission prices

Open Hours

  Monday - Friday Weekends & Public Holidays
January - February 9.00 - 16.00 9.00 - 16.00
March 9.00 - 17.00 9.00 - 17.00
April -September 9.00 - 18.00 9.00 - 18.00
October 9.00 - 17.00 9.00 - 17.00
November - December 9.00 - 16.00 9.00 - 16.00
The cash register always closes 30 minutes before the zoo closing time.

Entry with bicycles is prohibited, there is a bicycle stand in front of the entrance (Don't forget to bring a bike lock with you).
Dogs are only allowed in the new part of the zoo. It is prohibited to bring a dog to the old part. No other animals allowed.
Smoking is strictly prohibited while on the zoo grounds, that includes the parking lot.

Admission tickets:

Small Children (0 - 2,99) Free

Children, Adolescents, Students (with a valid student ID), Seniors (65 & over) & Invalids (ZTP  card)

150 Kč
Schools and Kindergardens (10 and more children, regardless of age) 120 Kč / child
(accompaniment 1 Kč)
Adults 200 Kč
Invalids (ZTP/P  card) + Accompaniment and Collegues from Other Zoos Free
Dogs (new part only) 100 Kč
Blood Donors from Klaudiánova nemocnice in Mladá Boleslav (only after providing certification) Free
Holders of "Rodinný pas" or "Senior pas" 10 Kč off each ticket
Annual pass - 10 entries (non-transferable) - Adult 700 Kč
Annual pass - 10 entries (non-transferable) - Child 500 Kč

Each tickets grants one entry to the new part and one to the old part. The turnstile in each part opens only once per ticket and so you cannot go back and forth between parts. We therefore recommend starting your visit in the old part (the one with the vast majority of exhibitions) and then going to the new one which, while having less exhibitions, includes a large playground for children, as  well as superior services (etc. more dining choices).

Do not forget to bring certification needed to apply your discount (ZTP or ZTP/P cards, student ID, etc.).

Only one discount can be applied at the same time (with the exception of "Rodinný pas" and "Senior pas", these can be applied on top of already discounted tickets)

At the main cash register (in the new part of the zoo) card payments are possible, at the self-service register(in the old part) only cash payments are possible.

Parking prices:

Car 50 Kč
Bus Free

ZOO throughout time:

5th June 1997

founding the zoo


entering EARAZA (Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums)


obtaining license by the Ministry of the Environment (as the first private zoo in the country after the revolution)


opening a souvenir store, a children's zoo, and a food stand. Renovation of the entry gate

August 2007

new website of the zoo

9th June 2007

opening of a unique gibbon pavilion “Angkor Wat”, in style of the world famous Cambodian sight

10th - 11th May 2008

hosting of the student’s World Championship in asian board game Go


obtaining 3.7 hectares of new land

June 2008

opening giant freshwater aquarium “Elbe”, which with its volume of around 45 m3 belongs among the largest in the country and displays over 20 Elbe’s fish species

27th April 2009

Yellow-cheeked gibbon newborn

21st June 2009

start of the Facebook page of ZOO Chleby


reconstruction of the main administrative building (roof and facade)


the creation of a bee exposition

25th September 2010

the opening of a cheetah pavilion “Livingstone House”, in the style of the house in which the famous traveler was found dead

2010 - 2012

the creation of a series of concrete sculptures displaying recently extinct animals and several indigenous people - altogether 29 sculptures (15 species). The only similar collection in the country and of such size in Europe, probably even in the world

July 2011

the creation of a photo nook „Mascarenes“ with 3 sculptures of extinct animals (Dodo bird, Saddle-backed Rodrigues giant tortoise, Mascarene Parrot) and a sculpture of a woman of local ethnicity, Cafres. Included is a vending machine with souvenir coins displaying the Dodo bird.

September 2011

the creation of a Coypus enclosure


the creation of a Camel enclosure

February 2013

a new (temporary) website of the zoo


the creation of an enclosure and a house for Ring-tailed lemurs

21st June 2013

opening of an enclosure and a house for Meerkats, including two sculptures of Bushmen


the beginning of a construction of an environmental center and of a children's playground

November 2013

a new modern and extensive website of the zoo, including engaging quizzes (on the basis of a computer game)

12th April 214

the grand opening of the New ZOO


the commissioning of the e-ticket system (electronic cash boxes)


the beginning of the construction of a house for the red-shanked douc

6th August 2016

the grand opening of the Mendel Ecocentre

26th August 2016

the arrival of 2 red-shanked doucs - most beautiful primates of the world and currently the rarest animals kept in the Czech Republic

1st October 2016

the grand opening of the red-shanked douc house, which was named Doc. Jebavý's Pavilion - in honor of the deceased ethologist, zoologist, primatologist and a longtime member of the board of directors of Zoo Chleby, doc. ing. Lukáš Jebavý, PhD.

November 2016

The zoo attained a third territory near the both current ones. It is an area of ​​the former collective farm with an area of ​​0.35 hectares, where there were technical facilities (garages, administrative buildings, various workshops, a hall, a boiler room, a courtyard etc.). The area is outlined to be a technical (non-public) base of the zoo and a reserve parking lot, but even possible future exhibitions are not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

17th May 2017

Zoo Chleby became the 20th member of UCSZOO (Union of Czech and Slovak zoological Gardens)

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