Notable Nuremberg Zoo Visitors: Presenter and world explorer Willie Wetzel is currently presenting his new movie ‘Willi and the Miracle Toad’ and will be coming to Tiergarten on his tour on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
For this reason, Tiergarten focuses on the amphibian world on this day. As reported by the Nuremberg City Zoo, the zoo’s education team displays native amphibian species at an information platform in front of the former dolphinarium, explaining their importance to the ecosystem and delving into the threat and protection of the animals.
Established between 10:30 AM and 2 PM, the Information Pavilion is located directly in front of the entrance to the former Dolphinarium, and is one of the most frequented places in the Tiergarten. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Willy Wetzel will be there to provide autographs, answer questions, and be available for photos. Cinema movie tickets can also be won on site and on Tiergarten’s social media channels.
Many amphibians are threatened with extinction
The danger of amphibians is increasing all over the world. A third of all known species are now threatened with extinction. Amphibians were the pioneers of wildlife and existed before the dinosaurs. Now they are struggling with the consequences of climate change, globalization and population growth. Therefore, conservation breeding programmes, such as education and research, are becoming increasingly important for the conservation of individual species and ultimately the entire animal class.
Nuremberg Zoo is also committed to amphibians – for example to protect the local fire salamander. The wild population of the area is threatened by a deadly fungal disease. Therefore, the zoo is currently building a quarantine and breeding station for fire salamanders. As part of a large joint project involving private animal owners and several universities, a protection breed in human care for this type of animal will be created.
About the movie “Willi and the Miracle Toad”
In the feature film “Willi and the Miracle Toad,” Willy Wetzel sets out on an adventurous journey through Egypt, Bolivia and Panama to explore the habitats of toads. He was instigated by his 11-year-old neighbor Luna, who is fighting for the frog pond in her village.
So the seemingly insignificant small pond is at the heart of the big questions about nature conservation, sustainability, and the power of teamwork. In the 90-minute feature film, Willie conveys not only the meaning of the (real) world of amphibians to a small audience, but also tells the fictional story of an unafraid girl, who fights for a cause and uses her power of persuasion and perseverance tries to persuade her neighbors in the village.
The film was shot in close collaboration with Frogs & Friends e. V., a non-profit association that supports amphibians. The association has set itself the goal of raising awareness of the fascinating and endangered world of amphibians. The team is made up of scientists, animal husbandry experts, media representatives and authors. Together they stir up enthusiasm for frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians in an engaging, creative and often humorous way that draws attention to their protection.
In association with the Association of Zoos H. V. The German Society for Reptile Studies and Terrarium e. V., The “Citizen Conservation – Attitude Conserves Species” project was launched in 2018. This aims to activate a large audience to save endangered species. Rangers of institutions such as zoos and private wildlife rangers work together to create coordinated conservation breeds for amphibians and other endangered animal species.
Willy Witzel is known to many families and children as a reporter, mediator, explorer and adventurer of the world. Since 2001 he has presented the knowledge program “Willi Wills Wissen” of Bavarian Radio and the children’s channel KiKA. In 2009 his first feature film “Willie and the Wonders of the World” followed. With “Willi and the Miracle Toad,” he makes his second feature film, which – using amphibians as an example – makes the great connections between nature conservation, sustainability, and community work tangible for viewers.