Skip to main content

There's love in the air at Diergaarde Blijdorp! From January 10th to February 25th, the park is dedicated to love and romance, with various activities that you can experience both in the park, on our website, in the app, and on our social media.

Discover the enchanting world of love in the animal kingdom on this page! Enjoy captivating videos that show how unique animals find each other, vote for your favorite animal, and participate in the photo contest. But the experience is not complete without having witnessed the love in the animal kingdom within Blijdorp itself. Take a relaxed stroll with your loved one, family, or best friends on our Lovers' Lane and be amazed by the extraordinary world of mating rituals and selection processes in our unique animal species.

Immerse yourself in the magic of love on our special Lovers' Lane and discover the extraordinary world of mating rituals and selection processes among our unique animal species. With the Blijdorp app in hand, you can effortlessly follow this romantic route. By scanning QR codes at different animal , you'll learn everything about how they find and charm their perfect match.

The route also takes you past several enchanting photo opportunities. Seize the chance to capture the most loving and breathtaking images, making this day an unforgettable adventure with your loved ones.

Lovers' Lane is accessible from January 10th to February 25th. So, you have plenty of time to come along with your crush, partner, family, or any other person you care for. Learn, discover, and enjoy this unique love adventure. Come by and let your heart be captivated at Blijdorp!

Dive deep into the enchanting world of Red pandas, Curly pelicans, Rüppell's griffon vultures, Antillean iguanas, Asian elephants, Geladas, and the bachelor of the park: the Komodo dragon. Be amazed by the unique stories of how these unique animals find each other

Which love story did you find the most enjoyable, funniest, or most interesting? Let us know! And stand a chance to win a lunch for 4 people at Blijdorp!

Vote here

In the beautiful mountains and bamboo forests of Nepal, you will find the red panda. Red pandas prefer to live in solitude, without a group or a fixed partner. Only once a year, when the male feels the urge to reproduce, does he seek a mate. The territories of the pandas overlap in some places, allowing him to encounter the female in the shared living space. During this encounter, scent plays a crucial role. Similar to dogs, red pandas have scent glands on their hindquarters, allowing them to attract and recognize each other.

After reproduction, they will each follow their own path and return to their solitary lives.

In the dense forests of India to the expansive grasslands of Indonesia, we find the Asian elephant. Male elephants, also known as bulls, typically live in herds with other males. Females live together in family herds. To strengthen bonds, there are occasional "affectionate" moments between two elephants of the same sex. This can involve mouth-to-mouth contact, entwining their trunks, and sometimes elephants even place each other's trunks in their mouths.

In the animal kingdom, love knows no boundaries or gender!

In the dry, warm forests of the Antilles, you'll find the Antillean iguana. Bit by bit, we're uncovering more about the fascinating mating ritual of this unique creature. Turns out, during the mating season, the males' white heads turn a rosy pink to impress the ladies.

Once he's made an impression and successfully wooed the female, the male nods his head politely before they get down to business. Sounds courteous, right? Well, the actual act of mating is a bit less refined – the male tends to bite the female's neck. While, as humans, we might not consider this the most tender form of love, it's a crucial ritual for these iguanas when it comes to reproducing. Luckily, there's no need to worry, as the female's wounds usually heal pretty quickly.

Over the next few years, we hope to unravel more about the unique love rituals of Antillean iguanas.

High on the rocks of East Africa, Rüppell's griffon vultures build their nests. Despite these birds not having the appearance of being particularly affectionate, they are actually very loyal partners.

The love story begins in the air, where the vultures circle, searching for a suitable place to build their nest. Once they have found the ultimate spot, you often hear the vultures hissing and blowing. This is their way of letting other couples know that they intend to raise their chick in that location. After raising the young, they often return to the same nesting site. This is a tradition that can continue for up to 20 years. A tradition with each other and the nesting location.

Not all animals are lucky enough to find a partner. Take the Komodo dragon, for example. This creature is facing extinction, making it harder to come by a mate. However, the female Komodo dragon is not one to be easily discouraged. She's so independent that she can fertilize, lay, and hatch an egg all on her own, without any help from a male.

But here's the catch—the Komodo dragon isn't the most nurturing mother. In fact, they can be cannibalistic at times. This means the young Komodo dragon has to quickly climb a tree to protect itself from other Komodo dragons, including its own mother. As a result, the young Komodo dragon often hides until it's old, strong, and large enough to fend for itself. The life of our favorite 'single animal' doesn't always go smoothly, you see...

The Curly pelican is one of the largest and heaviest birds that fly through the air. However, there is much more that makes this large bird special. These birds form pairs for certain seasons of the year, a phenomenon known as seasonal pairing.

For the curly pelican, a pair is formed through a unique mating ritual. The male attracts his partner by inflating his throat pouch, which changes from yellow to bright orange during the mating season. Once he successfully attracts a partner, they reproduce and jointly incubate the egg.

After the egg hatches, the parents stay together to raise the chick, a process that takes approximately 2 to 3 months. Once the chick is old enough to leave the nest, the partners go their separate ways again. This shows that even in the animal kingdom, couples are formed, although for some animals, it's a fleeting affair.

Deep in the vast grasslands and rocky terrains of Ethiopia, you'll come across the gelada. This remarkable species is also known as the 'bleeding-heart' monkey. When the geladas wants to mate, it will become visible through the red, hairless patch on their chests. For the males, this area becomes even more intense red, and for the females, the small wart-like skin pouches around this red patch swell. This is how they signal to each other that they're ready to reproduce.

After mating, the female takes matters into her own hands regarding which male she wants to conceive with. If, after mating, she decides the male isn't suitable for offspring, she can actually abort the egg in her belly. Gelada females are true powerhouses, calling the shots in their reproductive game.