We have been working with this zoological garden and supporting its nature conservation projects for 15 years

On the partner

The Prague zoological garden was founded in 1931. In 12 unique pavilions and more than 150 exhibitions it keeps 5,375 animals of 678 species. Prague Zoo is one of the best breeding gardens and features high on the charts of the world’s best zoological gardens every year.

Current developments in Prague Zoo

Spring is in full swing and a large number of new baby animals have appeared in Prague Zoo. Two baby elephants, born in a span of a few weeks, are perhaps the most eagerly awaited additions to the garden.

The first calf was born on 27 March 2020 early in the morning. Her mother is Tamara, an Indian elephant, and her father is Ankhor. The other female calf was born on 9 May at night and her mother is Janita.

Both calves are prospering and quickly gaining weight; they are getting to know the other members of the elephant group one by one.

The keepers will select the names for the calves and they will be Sinhalese names, i.e. originating from Sri Lanka, the homeland of their mothers Tamara and Janita.

Prague Zoo has a long tradition of elephant keeping; the first calf was born there in 1993. African elephants followed. Today the group comprises Indian elephants again; the two new females will stay in Prague and will give rise to a new family group one day.

Jan Juchelka, Komerční banka CEO, became the godfather to the new calf.

On 21 June, Prague Zoo organised a christening party for the baby elephants born earlier this year. One was born on 27 March and their other a few weeks later on 9 May. 

Lakuna and Amalee – these are the names of the two female calves. The names come from Sri Lanka as the mothers of both calves. The older calf was named Lakuna, which means ‘a mark, spot, sign, token, badge’ in Sinhalese. “The meaning is that it is a good sign. We regarded the first calf as a good sign because she was born in a challenging period of time when the zoo was locked down. And she also is a good sign for the future of our elephant breeding,” explains Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo Director. It was a bit more complicated to find the name for the other calf but eventually, Amalee won by a single vote in the keepers’ voting. This name does not have any special meaning in Sinhalese, but it does not need it anyway,” said Miroslav Bobek. “In short, both baby elephants are our ‘Prague Miracle’.

Being a long-standing partner Komerční banka could not miss the party; Jan Juchelka, our CEO, became the godfather of the older calf, Lakuna.

What we have supported to date

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Programme intended to save Sarcophilus harrisii, referred to as the Tasmanian devil, helps to protect this endangered species in the areas of its natural habitat.

Prior support

One of the most interesting projects was the Wandering Bus, a nature conservation project intended to take the children living near the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon to rescue centres where they had a chance to watch gorillas and also take part in educational activities.

Another major project was protection of the Egyptian vulture in the Balkans, operated by the Green Balkans organisation in Bulgaria. In the past few years funds provided by Prague Zoo helped to build three breeding and acclimatisation aviaries for vultures and also a feeding place. Since August 2017, the Bulgarian conservationists who protect these birds of prey have also had a four-wheel drive vehicle. They were able to buy it thanks to Prague Zoo’s cooperation with Komerční banka.

Return of the Wild Horses to the wild is another rescue project. The Central Asian Przewalski’s Horse (Equus przewalskii) is the very last surviving wild horse species. The world learned of its existence only in 1881 – but less than a hundred years later, at the turn of the 1970s, it had already been driven to extinction in the wild, surviving only in the care of zoological gardens. Extraordinary credit for the preservation of the Przewalski’s horse goes to Prague Zoo. Thanks to this rescue project more than 500 horses are now living in Mongolia in the wild, 194 of them in the Gobi B National Park, a strictly protected area.