While the current Tisch Family Zoological Park has been providing visitors with a glimpse of the creatures of the Bible since 1993, its roots began decades earlier.
The large zoological center now known as the Tisch Family Zoological Park or simply the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo by the locals, originally began as the small passion project of a Jewish scholar who wanted to help people experience the Bible as reality as opposed to simply in the abstract. Aharon Shulov was a professor of zoology Jerusalem’s Hebrew University when he started his original children’s zoo in 1940. The small collection of animals were all creatures that had been named in the Bible, displayed in a public street. However due to complaints from neighbors, Shulov’s collection had to be moved to a new location. Thus began a series of moves for the collection that lasted until the early 90’s when the expanding menagerie landed in its current home in Jerusalem.
Today the 62 acre site continues Shulov’s dream to bring the animals of the Bible to the public as well as a new focus on endangered species. The park contains over 140 different species across its two main sections, the Biblical and the Endangered. Horses, monkeys, lions, exotic birds, frogs, snakes, fish, and countless other beasts are on display, giving both a religious and conservationist viewpoint to the exhibits. Species that are extinct in Israel are even bred in captivity to help repopulate their numbers.