A new face at Tierpark Berlin

An interview with Antje Brose

Since 1 February, Antje Brose has been head of fundraising at Zoo and Tierpark Berlin. We wanted to get to know her better, so we invited her for a chat.

Antje, why did you decide to apply for a job at the Tierpark?

Antje Brose: „Can there be a more beautiful place to work?“

Very true! What were you most pleased to discover on your first day of work?

Antje Brose: „The beautiful view of the surrounding parkland from my window. I also enjoy strolling through the Tierpark on my lunch break and seeing the animals.“

So now we have to ask the obvious question: What is your favourite animal?

Antje Brose: „Elephants, hippos, zebras, kiwis… My favourite animal changes on an almost daily basis. But that’s hardly surprising – after all, I work at the largest animal park in Europe, so there’s always more to discover.“

Can you explain what your job entails?

Antje Brose: „I am responsible for fundraising. That means that I am the point of contact for sponsors and donors at all three of Berlin’s zoological facilities: Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor or making a donation is directed to me. Some people want to know how much it costs to sponsor their favourite animal or what the sponsorship process involves. Others are looking for an appropriate present for a particular occasion. I give them tips on which sponsorships could work well.“

And what’s your favourite aspect of the job?

Antje Brose: „The best part for me is working with people. It makes me particularly happy when people tell me how much they love the Tierpark.“

What is the most unusual fact you have learned since starting your job at Zoo and Tierpark Berlin?

Antje Brose: „I didn’t know that there were animals other than humans that use farming methods to ensure their food supply, so I was quite amazed when I saw the leafcutter ants upstairs in the Aquarium for the first time. The organisation and division of labour among these insects is astonishing. They harvest leaves in order to feed their fungal gardens, which they tend to much like a farm. 

It was also new for me to find out that some employees live here at the Tierpark."

Is there an aspect of your work that you believe does not receive enough publicity?

Antje Brose: „Definitely the tree sponsorships. Anyone can sponsor a tree for €250 a year. It makes for the perfect wedding gift, as the couple then has a permanent place that commemorates their union. With its roots firmly in place, the tree grows and blossoms. That’s a perfect symbol, isn’t it?“

What was the feedback from your first sponsors’ afternoon at the Tierpark?

Antje Brose: „Our sponsors and donors told me that it was a lovely afternoon spent with likeminded people. People who love the Tierpark show their support by buying an annual pass, getting a sponsorship, or giving a donation. Our sponsors enjoyed sharing their memories of the Tierpark with each other and talking about the reasons for their loyalty and the many positive changes they have seen here. Another special part of the day are the face-to-face discussions with the curators.“

What has been your most emotional moment to date?

Antje Brose: „There was mother who had lost her son and wanted to make a donation in his memory. As she was explaining the situation to me, we both ended up in tears. It’s wonderful to know that zoos can provide people with comfort even during dark times. For many people, Tierpark Berlin is a place where they have shared special moments with loved ones and created happy memories.“

Have you ever given a sponsorship as a present?

Antje Brose: „Yes, I gave my daughter a Humboldt penguin sponsorship for her birthday.“

Which sponsorship would you give next?

Antje Brose: „My brother just became a daddy and we’re going to sponsor a tree for his little one.“

Are there any particularly special sponsorships you would recommend? 

Antje Brose: „There’s a bench in the Tierpark up at the top of the “mountain landscape” area with a wonderful view over the city – the perfect spot for a marriage proposal. Bench sponsors can also have their names displayed on a brass plaque on the bench’s backrest."

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