Urs Eggenschwyler , animal trainer,artist,owner,zoo designer in Switzerland
Born 1849-01-24 in Switzerland
dead 1923-12-08 in Switzerland
The painter and stonecutter Urs Eggenschwyler, (1849-1923) from Switzerland was educated in stone cutting by Joseph Pflüger 1865-1867, and in 1870 art at the Art Academy in Munich, where he had to interupt the studies due to his problems of hearing, since ha was sick in Scarlet fever as a young boy. He was born in Matzendorf, Subingen, Kanton Solothurn, as oldest child to parents Niklaus Eggenschwyler and Anna Maria, born Schneider.
Already in 1873 he participated in the 1873 Vienna World's Fair, and in 1878 he moved to Zürich.
In 1881 he founded a private menagerie in Milchbuck, Zürich, where he kept lions, leopards, bears, hyenas, and other exotic animals. He used to walk a hand-raised lion in the Niederdorf area
in the city, and after som complaints he took his walk in the night time.
Urs Eggenschwyler menagerie in Milchbuck
He was making artificial rocks in the zoo "Peter and Paul" in St. Gallien in Switzerland, when he was contacted by Caarl Hagenbeck Jr. in 1896, who asked him to join him in Hamburg, building up his animal enclosures in his new zoo.
The Arctic Panorama (Nordlandpanorama in German) in Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Stellingen), constructed by Urs Eggenschwyler 1904-1907
to resemble a northern Norwegian fjord.
Eggenschwyler tried out a technique for concrete which he used in Hagenbecks Tierpark 1896-1907, and he was responsible for a lot of the enclosures in other places that would lead to the reformation of the future zoo architecture, worldvide, among those Antwerpen ZooB, Basel Zoo, Budapest Zoo, Rome Zoo, and Vienna Zoo.
Eggenschwyler is also famous for making animal statues in European cities.
The lions at Seegfrörni des Zürichsee in Zurich, were made by Eggenschwyler.
The sealion Panorma in Basel Zoo, completed by Eggenschwyler in 1922, one year before his death.
After his death in 1923, short before his bankrupsy, some of his anmials ended up in Zurich Zoo, and many of his collection are located in Naturmuseums Solothurn.
Memorial over Urs Eggenschwyler in Hagenbecks Zoo in Hamburg.