London Zoo promo from 1990

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on April 27, 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually made open to the public in 1847. Today it houses a collection of 755 species of animals, with 15,104 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.

 

It is managed under the aegis of the Zoological Society of London (established in 1826), and is situated at the northern edge of Regent’s Park (the Regent’s Canal runs through it). The Society also has a more spacious site at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire to which the lager animals such as elephants and rhinos have been moved. As well as being the first scientific zoo, ZSL London Zoo also opened the first Reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853), first insect house (1881) and the first children’s zoo (1938).

 


History
ZSL was established by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1826, who obtained the land for the Zoo and saw the plans before he died of apoplexy later that year. After his death the third Marquis of Lansdowne took over the project and supervised the building of the first animal houses. The Zoo opened in April 1828 to fellows of the Society, providing access to species such as Arabian oryx, greater kudus, orangutan and the now extinct quagga & thylacine. The Society was granted a Royal Charter in 1829 by King George IV, and in 1847 the Zoo opened to the public to aid funding.

 

It was believed that tropical animals could not survive outside in London’s cold weather and so they were all kept indoors until 1902, when Dr Peter Chalmers Mitchell was appointed secretary of the Society. He set about a major reorganisation of the buildings and enclosures of the Zoo, bringing many of the animals out into the open, where many thrived. This was an idea inspired by Hamburg Zoo, and led to newer designs to many of the buildings. Mitchell also envisaged a new 600-acre (2.4 km2) park to the north of London, and in 1926 Hall Farm, near to Whipsnade village, was bought. In 1931 Whipsnade Wild Animal Park opened, becoming the world’s first open zoological park.

In 1962 ‘Caroline’, an Arabian oryx, was lent to Phoenix Zoo, Arizona in the world’s first international co-operative breeding programme. Today the Zoo participates in breeding programmes for over 130 species.

info taken from Wikipedia

 

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