Take a walk on the wild side

No plans for an outdoor activity on the weekend yet? Why not take a stroll in the Palatinate forest and experience wildlife close up?

Wildpark Betzenberg is located in the eastern part of Kaiserslautern, behind Kleber Kaserne and across from Gasthaus Quack. It offers you the opportunity to see typical animals, home to the Palatinate forest, and even some ancient species, such as wild horses.

The 25 hectare large premises are inhabited with aurochs and ancient horses called tarpans. Does, fawns and bucks graze in grassy enclosures. Wild boar and piglets splash in the mud, while goats and their kids play chase. Wisents, an endangered species, are cautiously kept in separate corrals and the fluffy calves may curiously walk up to the fence for a treat of juicy grass offered by a visitor.

The animals are kept in spacious enclosures with sheds for weather protection, with the intent of providing the most natural habitat as possible.

A 1.5 long water pipeline was installed and covered feeding sheds serve as protection against wind and rain. The wild boar enclosure has a muddy area where animals like to dig and roll around. A large grassy area with trees is provided for deer and goats.

A wet biotope was created within the wisent enclosure where frogs and lurches feel at home, while at the same time toads can find a place to spawn.

If you are extremely lucky, you might discover a rare shy lynx with its pointed ears peeking out of its den. Lynxes are the largest wild cats in Europe, were often hunted for their beautiful thick fur, and can reach a length of up to 1.2 meters (47 inches).

A walk in autumn, in particular during “golden October” – as the Germans say – when the leaves of the up to 120 year old oaks and beeches turn golden brown, red and yellow, is especially spectacular. In addition, fir trees offer a natural “roof” for the animals grazing and curiously observing visitors.

A Sunday walk is always worthwhile and is even double the fun with binoculars and camera. Admission is free and parking is available nearby. Visitors are advised that due to uneven inclines   and natural, unpaved forest paths, mobility for handicapped individuals is rather limited and appropriate footwear is recommended. Dogs are allowed if leashed at all times.