Free rides in the adventure zoo: the medical technology company Ottobock has donated ten new wheelchairs, which are made available to visitors free of charge, to the Hanover zoo. 99-year-old Erna Bönig, who was visiting the zoo with her daughter, granddaughter and great-grandson Maximilian, took the first test drive. The tour took her down a long ramp into the underwater world of Canada, where the polar bears Arktos and Nanuq were already waiting.
"The Ottobock wheelchairs are in use 365 days a year, and are very popular with our guests," said Zoo Director Frank Werner during the presentation in the Yukon Bay exhibit. This wilderness landscape with polar bears, seals and penguins is among the biggest attractions of the zoo, which draws more than 1.6 million visitors per year. "The free wheelchair loan service is great for people with limited mobility, and we are happy to support that," said Karsten Ley, Director Corporate Communication at Ottobock. The wheelchairs allow even older visitors and people with walking impediments to explore the 22-hectare site with seven exhibits and more than 3,000 animals.
With its headquarters in Duderstadt, South Lower Saxony, Ottobock produces a broad range of manual and power wheelchairs adapted to the individual needs of the user in Königsee, Thuringia. The manual wheelchairs in the "Start" series are extremely robust, easy to handle and therefore also suitable for untrained users. A special edition was produced for use at the Hanover adventure zoo, with a banana-yellow frame and animal motifs printed on both side panels and spoke sections. Designers Philipp Creutz and Jan Skola were entrusted with the design and very much enjoyed this unusual animalistic challenge.
In addition to the wheelchair loan service, which Ottobock has been supporting since 2006, the Hanover adventure zoo offers handicapped parking, wide paths and ramps as well as handicapped-accessible toilets in all exhibits. The Sambesi boats are accessible with lightweight wheelchairs provided at the pier when required. Wheelchair users are also assisted while embarking and disembarking.
For further information on the wheelchair loan service and telephone reservations, call +49 511/280 74 163.
Photo: Hanover adventure zoo
Awe-inspiring experience (from the left): Karsten Ley, Director Corporate Communication at Ottobock, Zoo Director Frank Werner and Erna Bönig with her daughter Heike Stucke, granddaughter Christina Endres and great-grandson Maximilian visit the polar bears at the Hanover adventure zoo.