Friedrich Eduard Falz-Fein



Sofia Bogdanova Knauff

(1835 - 1919)




Friedrich Jakob (Eduardovich) von Falz-Fein


bd. 17 Mar 1863, Askania-Nova
dd. 2 Aug 1920, in a sanatorium at Bad Kissingen, buried in Berlin-Tempelhof

After finishing his studies of natural science at the university of Dorpat, Friedrich, in 1890, as the oldest son took over the management of Askania-Nova and proceeded to develop it not only as a sheep and horse ranch (supplying the Russian army with horses) but as an animal park and a nature preserve. As early as 1883 he had fenced in a first c.10 ha for keeping steppe animals, and in 1897 he created a zoo and a botanical garden, plus a Nature Museum a year later. In 1899, nearly extinct wild Przhevalski horses were brought from the Gobi steppes to Askania Nova. His animal park became a model for other such ventures, studied by zoo directors from all over the world. In 1914, the Czar visited Askania-Nova and was so pleased that he made Friedrich a baron ("von"). The family resided in the nearby family estate of Preobrazhenka. Before World War I, Askania Nova, in addition to its wild living steppe animals, counted close to a million of sheep and over 100.000 shepherd dogs. It was damaged during World War I and the Russian Revolution. In 1918, the Bolsheviki confiscated it, and on 1 April 1919 the whole family except for Friedrich's mother fled from Sevastopol on the last steamer (the Bulgarian 'Roi Ferdinand') via Constantinople to Berlin. In 1920 Friedrich died from grief for his lost "animal paradise". Beginning in 1922, Askania-Nova was divided and made into agricultural cooperatives, but a core nature preserve was kept and in 1956 placed under the administration of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences which maintains a research institute for steppe animals. Today the park is said to have been increased to 100.000 ha and is a UNESCO Nature Preserve, containing an animal park of 2400 ha. It is situated in Kherson Oblast c. 150 km
E of the city of Kherson on Dniepr River and 350 km E of Odessa.

tree  #5 Falz-Fein




Eduard v. Falz-Fein

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