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London Zoo was officially open in 1828 as the world’s first scientific zoo, it was not opened to the public until 1847. Located near to Regent’s Park, the grounds of London Zoo were designed by Decimus Burton and included a number of features including the Clock Tower, the Giraffe House and the East Tunnel that links the north and south parts of the zoo together. Later other architectural features were built including the mountain landscape of the Mappin Terraces in 1914, the Round House in 1933, The Penguin Pool in 1934 and the Snowdon Aviary in 1964.
In recent years, the Zoological Society of London which runs the Zoo have decided to concentrate more on conservation and breeding programmes and to have fewer animals and begin to build environments that was more suitable for the animals that live in them.
Highlights of the zoo include :
Land of the Lions is the latest new enclosure for London Zoo’s Asiatic lions, which opened in Spring 2016. The enclosure is designed to resemble the Gir Forest National Park in India.
Tiger Territory recreates an Indonesian habitat for its Sumatran tigers which are under threat in the wild, the successful European breeding programme has led to the birth of tiger cubs at the zoo in the last couple of years.
Gorilla Kingdom features a colony of western lowland gorillas in a purpose-built environment.
Penguin Beach recreates a South American beach landscape with a colony of Humboldt penguins (and one special rockhopper).The new exhibit features a large pool with underwater viewing areas.
Butterfly Paradise allows visitors to walk inside a giant caterpillar and be immersed into a world of butterflies and moths from around the globe. A large variety of species flutter around you, seeking out plants on which to feed and rest.
Into Africa offers the opportunity to look at some of Africa’s animals including Giraffes, zebras, okapi, warthogs and African hunting dogs.
In with the Lemurs is a walk-through exhibit where visitors can get closer than ever before to ring-tail lemurs.
Animal Adventure is the children’s zoo, B.U.G.S! is designed to explain about biodiversity, in the Reptile House you can find London Zoo’s collection of reptiles and amphibians, including snakes, lizards, frogs and crocodiles. ZSL London Zoo has had an Aquarium since 1853, and is home to different types of fish, the Aquarium is involved in many different conservation projects and breeding programmes.
The Zoo arranges a series of daily events, feeds and demonstrations and has a number of food and drink options. There are number of child activities throughout the day and plenty of shopping for those cuddly toys and other animal related merchandise.
London Zoo has changed considerable over the last 25 years as the public’s awareness of animal welfare has changed, gradually the zoo has become an important contributor of conservation and breeding programmes and pioneered education programmes to keep customers informed of global initiatives to save endangered species. Larger animals are generally kept at ZSL Whipsnade and new enclosures are being built to provide a better quality of environment for the animals. As the number of large animals has diminished in the zoo, the number of immersive attractions has grown providing a more interactive experience.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
For more information or book tickets, visit the London Zoo website here
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