The zoo - pride of the Nowy Tomyśl inhabitants, a place strongly identified with the city. How much the inhabitants are attached to this nature reserve might show the care for the animals. Many companies and natural persons donate food and money for the animals' upkeep.
The brown bear enjoys the greatest affection of all zoo inhabitants. Maybe it's because he was one of the first zoo inhabitants. Together with a four years older representative of the same species he came here from the Warsaw Julinek circus.
The zoo was established at the suggestion of active persons and animal friends in 1974. It is an outdoor zoo which takes up an area of 3,7 ha. In 1975 the first building was built - a yard and cage for brown bears. Other animals were brought to the zoo in consequence of closing zoos in Zielona Góra, Śrem and Wrześna. At the moment in the zoo in Nowy Tomyśl there are about 214 animals, representing 45 species. They come from the whole world. Among them there are: arui sheep, marsh deer, yellow baboons, lions, Indian porcupines, agoutis, watusi cattle, llamas, exotic birds ( Monk parakeets , nymph parakeets , Red-fronted Parakeets , pipits). Especially interesting are these species, which are placed under legal protection in the whole world and are listed in the "Red Book of Animals". These are among others: China leopard and Przewalski horse. Animals placed under the legal protection in Poland and living in the zoo in Nowy Tomyśl are: wildcat, lynx, wolf, tawny owl, brown bear and white stork.
The zoo in Nowy Tomyśl performs many functions. It is a wonderful place for relaxation and recreation. Not far from the city centre, admission free for individual visitors, convenient opening times (from 10:00 a.m. till dawn) and above all a chance for contact with nature and exotic animals. The inhabitants of Nowy Tomyśl and its surroundings come here with their families to have a walk.
The Zoo performs also a didactic function. During the school year sometimes lessons are held here.
Injured animals and birds are brought to the zoo, where they get veterinary help and treatment and after recovery are placed back into their natural habitats. Therefore the zoo in Nowy Tomyśl serves also as a sanatorium and nursery for animals living at liberty.
Every year young zoo inhabitants are being born here. Each birth is a unique event in the zoo life, it simply means that the animals feel well here. However the financial and dwelling conditions do not allow for leaving all animals born here. That is why young animals (llamas, Siberian cats, mountain sheep) are sold to other zoos. Whereas young wolfs are given over to the Department of Zoology at the Agricultural University in Poznań.