History of the animal park
The park has undergone many changes over the years. As it stands now, it was designed by the municipality of Maastricht in collaboration with Gaia Zoo in Kerkrade. As soon as there is enough grass in the park, new residents will come to stay: red deer, mouflons, and pheasants. The animal park has been managed by the Daalhoeve foundation since the spring of 2016. Every day, employees of this foundation come to the park to take care of the animals.
Over the years, the park has had many different animals, including fallow deer, red deer, goats, donkeys, rabbits, peacocks, turkeys, and chickens.
Relationship with humans
Why we do what we do
The animal park has a long history in Maastricht. Around 1900, Tapijn was still part of the defensive works of Maastricht as part of the ‘Kompe’, or inundation basins, an area that could be flooded if necessary. In 1908, a new bed for the Jeker was dug near the Reek (through which the Jeker flows under the old city wall).
In 1920, the City Beautification Association was founded and the animal park, aviary, and bear pit were constructed. The first inhabitants of the park were three fallow deer (1 male and 2 female animals), donated by HRH Prince Hendrik, and 2 red deer that were donated by Mr Kröller, an industrialist. Later, another red deer was added. A photo taken in 1927 shows that an old tram shed served as a shelter for the deer in the park. The Maastricht City Beautification Association was actually a precursor of the Maastricht Animal Park Foundation, which managed the park at Tapijn until March 2016. In 2016, the municipality took over management of the park. In practice, it is managed by the Daalhoeve foundation.