||The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
|London Zoo is located on the northern side of regents Park, the
nearest underground tube station is Camden Town.
The Zoo opened in 1828
to house a collection of exotic animals for study by eminent scientists of the
day. It was not until 1847 that the Zoo was opened to the public and eventually
became the best known Zoo in the world.
Today the Zoo houses 650 species
of animals including an impressive range of reptiles, fish, invertebrates,
birds and smaller mammals. Of these 112 are recorded as threatened and the Zoo
also participates in breeding programmes for 130 species.
When London Zoo was
created in 1827, Decimus Burton was commissioned to lay out the grounds and
design the animal enclosures. Since then many other leading architects have
contributed to the Zoo buildings, creating a collection of buildings that
includes two grade I and eight grade II listed structures. The best known of
these are the Giraffe House by Burton in 1836, the Snowdon Aviary in 1962-4,
the Round House by Tecton in 1932 and the Penguin Pool also by Tecton in
During the history of London Zoo there have been several famous or
infamous animals. These include Guy the Gorilla whose fearsome appearance
disguised a very gentle nature, he died of a heart attack after a
tooth extraction in 1978. Goldie the Eagle who escaped in 1965 and became a
media celebrity, causing traffic jams as 5000 people tried to spot him as he
flew around the capital. Winnie an American Black Bear who was deposited at the
Zoo by a Canadian lieutenant in 1914 at the start of the first World war and
was visited by AA milne and his son Christopher, inspiring the stories of
Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. Obaysch who arrived in 1850 doubling the
number of visitors that year, who wanted to view the first Hippopotamus to be
seen in Europe since Roman times.
Most people who live within reach of
the Capital have been taken to London Zoo as a child, including myself, it now
has a lot more competition with the many modern Safari and Wildlife parks and
struggles to offer the standard of accommodation demanded for some larger
animals. But it is still well worth a visit when in the Capital.