Varna Zoo is located in the heart of the Sea Garden in Varna and is a favourite place for kids and adults. It is neighbouring the Dolphinarium and the Museum of Natural History. The first animals in the zoo were the bear 'Maxim', a gift from sailors of the minesweeper "G. Dimitrov" in 1956, and the red deer 'Longos'. Today the zoo houses 60 species of animals, with more than 300 individuals, of which 17 protected kinds of birds and animals, written in the Red Book of Bulgaria for protected species.
|Date opened||30 April 1956|
|Location||Sea Garden (Varna)|
|Land area||6 acres|
|No. of animals||300|
|No. of species||60|
|Major exhibits||Birds, Herbivore animals, Carnivore animals, Primates|
Varna Zoo was built between 1958-1961 and opened on 30 April 1961. Architect Bistra Markova laid out the animal houses together with K. Karakashev and with the support from the major at that time, Nikolay Boyadzhiev.
Until the bear house was built in 1958, the bear Maxim had been tied to a tree. The lakes were populated with Rose pelicans. By 1974, the zoo received animals from the Sofia Zoo and foreign zoos, including kangaroos, lamas, panthers, penguins, swans from Berlin and other. By 1994 there were around 50 animal species. The oldest animals were Martin, a 24-years old camel, and the bears Martin and Marga, born in 1972.
Since 2007 the zoo is acting as an animal rescue centre and by 2013 more than 100 protected birds had been cured and returned to their natural habitat with the support of other local institutions.