The Senningen Zoo was opened in 1968 in Senningen, Luxembourg. Despite its extremely remote location, it is reported that in it’s first year of business it was host to 125,000 visitors. There is almost nothing available online that describes the Zoo, or its operation, until we hit the mid-seventies- when the zoo was hit with accusations of animal cruelty and not keeping proper care of the animals.
The book “Fur die Tiere” by Nelly Moia (a fiercely anti-zoo book) mentions the zoo specifically, and says it has a visit from the court as early as 1970 to decide whether or not it should be closed. At this time it was not closed, but later on in 1974 the zoo was ordered to close for neglecting the animals. The owner appealed the decision and lost, but this verdict was never enforced and so the zoo stayed open. For 5 years the zoo carried on operating, and in 1980 it seems that a new court case would need to happen in order to close the zoo. Again there is very little information on this, but I believe the zoo was finally closed around 1981-1982, and has been left to the elements ever since.
Planning permission was obtained to build on the former site of the zoo. Developments are well underway at the top part of the zoo to build a rifle range, but many elements and features of the cages and layout of the zoo still exist. It’s not easy to get to, and is completely overgrown, but we were able to walk through the walkways of the lower zoo and see where the enclosures used to be. There is also the entrance hut to the zoo, a staircase, and one gate remaining.
I visited in June 2013, just over 30 years since the zoo closed. Here is what it looks like:
The entrance hut:
The zoo is located on Rue de la Montagne, in Niederanven, Luxembourg.