In 1954, a zoo was opened in the Theresienstein in Hof. The Hof Zoo which back then was rather justifiably called ‚Kleinzoo‘ (small zoo) came into being more or less by chance. The aquarium club, which had its club house there, built small ponds for water fleas which they used as live foods for aquarium fish. Around the ponds, gradually more and more cages and aviaries were built which housed sick animals from the area in need of asylum and a new home. Little by little, more and more Hofer came to see the animals. In 1955, one year after its formation, 2500 visitors had already been to the zoo. In 1957, the club put up a small aquarium house as part of their honorary work. Since then, visitors had to pay an entrance fee.
The basement area of the building is to this day used as a small mammal house.
The grand opening of the zoo restaurant and the club house was in 1964. The zoo grew more and more in popularity among the locals. At the beginning of the 70s, about 30,000 visitors went to the zoo annually. From the mid-70s on, stagnation regarding the development of the zoo started to set in. The zoo grew so ‚big‘ that the club alone was not able to finance it through own resources. Closing it down was considered.