Helmut Pechlaner

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Helmut Pechlaner (left) with curator Kurt Kolar and Dan Koehl (1998)

Helmut Pechlaner (born August 17, 1946 in Innsbruck ) holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine and was director of the Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna from 1992 until his retirement in 2007 .


Helmut is the youngest son of the lawyer Helmut Pechlaner and a brother of the former hand surgeon Sigurd Pechlaner and the limnologist Roland Pechlaner . After graduating from high school in Innsbruck and doing military service, he began studying at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna in 1966 , which he completed in 1972 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine. From 1972 to 1979 he was deputy director of the Alpenzoo in Innsbruck and then until 1991 its scientific and managing director. On January 1, 1992 he took over the management of the Schönbrunn Zoo . On January 1st, 2007 he retired and handed over the position of sole managing director of Schönbrunn Zoo to Dagmar Schratter .

Even after his retirement, Helmut Pechlaner has worked in several functions: as co-editor of the series Tiergarten Schönbrunn - Geschichte ( Braumüller Verlag ) and as honorary president of WWF Austria . He is also President of the Austrian Club for Lace and Pointed Species . Until 2015 he was a board member of the National Park Neusiedler See - Seewinkel and member and chairman of the university council of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna for 23 years .

In 2003 the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna awarded him an honorary professorship for zoo animal husbandry.

In 2006, on the occasion of the Austrian National Council elections, Pechlaner was co-initiator of a support committee for the ÖVP top candidate Wolfgang Schüssel , and in 2016 he supported Irmgard Griss in the election of Federal President.


Together with Christina Karnicnik , Pechlaner hosted the series Miniversum for ORF until 2008 . In 2002 he received the Golden Romy as the most popular magazine presenter. He also often starred in episodes of the television series Tom Turbo . From 1990 to 1994 he presented the ORF series Treffpunkt Natur , which was shown in the early evening program from 1990 to 1992 and was broadcast on the main evening program in 1993 and 1994. In the ORF series Universum he presented a. a. 12 episodes on "The Future of Endangered Wildlife".

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