The first, zoo-like institution was created in the Bishop’s Forest in 1962, close to the lumber yard. The zoo was established on the floodplains of Moson-Danube in order to show the species of game and predators. Even a brown bear was there on show.
The animal park of the Forestry was functioning until 1966: in accordance with recollections it was a zoo with significant attendance, but there are no records to prove it. Sadly, the 1966 flood meant the end for it. Most of the animals died during the flood, some others were given to private houses. Soon the idea of a new zoo in Győr arose, and on 1st May 1967 the “May 1 Culture Park” opened its gates for the public. This park consisted of an animal park and an amusement park and was functioning until the end of 1986 as an independent fiscal institution.
The main goal of the animal park was to show the wild and indigenous animals of our country, and also to teach people about them. In the mid-70s more exotic species arrived at the park, and 10 years later the animal park turned into a zoo. On 1st January 1987 “May 1 Culture Park” ceased to exist, but combined with other institutions it was turned into a Recreation and Sport Centre, but the development of the zoo was continuing.
In 1988 the Aquarium and Terrarium houses were built, and in 1993 the Municipal Sports Board was born, and within it, the zoo was a separate unit. In the following years attendance fell, developments were abandoned and in 1996 the raison d'être of the zoo was questioned. The technical consistency of the garden deteriorated; there was no chance of developing public services and improving the circumstances of the animals. Soon the decision was made to liquidate the zoological garden.
However, the inhabitants and the leaders of the city decided to keep the zoo, so by 1st April 1997 Janos Xantus Zoo, Public Benefit Organisation was formed.
A highly qualified, young team took the lead of the zoo. This was when Dr. György Andréka was pointed as the head of the zoo and he was given a few years to prove the legitimacy of the institution. The management decided that the most important task was to improve the state of the zoo. It did not only mean the improvement of the presentation conditions of animals, but also the promotion of educational and zoo-pedagogical activities. The public benefit organisation managed to renew the zoo, the number of visitors tripled and soon it turned to be one of the most visited cultural facilities in the region.
The zoo-opened in 1967-has gone through significant changes during the decades. More than 500 animals of 100 species are shown on large sites in similar circumstances to their original habitat.
By 2007, which year marked the 40th anniversary of the zoo, the reconstruction of old field, cages has been finished, all animals were moved to their new enclosures. Meanwhile the zoo went through a name change, as of 1st May 2009 it is called Janos Xantus Zoo, Non-profit LLC.
Visitors are invited to observe zoo-life in a pleasant environment, walking in our arranged, landscaped gardens which offer relaxing events for both adults and children.