It’s no wonder people go Ape for London Zoo. As one of the oldest scientific zoos in the world London Zoo attracts millions of visitors each year to its 36 acres and 17,600 animals. A great day out for all the family and also striving to conserve animals in happy and natural habitats, London Zoo is not only a place to learn about animals, but a real sanctuary for many, helping to save from extinction many species. London Zoo staff sustains wildlife and save from extinction many animals around the world, from New Zealand and Indonesia to the continent of Africa, the money visitors spend at the zoo often helps to fund international conservation projects.
There is also a lot of scientific research that goes on at London Zoo, from conservation initiatives to disease risk assessments for animals. Every visitor to the zoo is not only having fun but learning and helping the conservation and health of many forms of wildlife.
History of London Zoo
Sir Stamford Raffles, a British Statesman and Sir Humphry Davy, a well-known chemist bought the land for London Zoo in 1826 and began making plans to build it into a scientific study area focussing on animals. After Raffles death the Marquis of Lansdowne took over and oversaw the building of the first animal sites. Until 1902, it was believed that the tropical animals on site would not be able to survive in London’s cold climates and therefore they were often kept inside in more humid environments. It wasn’t until Dr Peter Chalmers Mitchell took over that he was inspired by Hamburg zoo, where the animals were allowed to roam outside. With this in mind he reorganised many of the sites and found a positive effect in their thriving. This led to further developments and expansions of the site, to the point that by the 1990’s there were over 7000 different animals at the zoo and it was the only place in England where you could catch a look at some rare animals such as the Tasmanian Devil. The nearest in animal numbers in the UK was Chester Zoo which only had 3500 animals! Due to this size, financial difficulties meant that the zoo faced closure. However, the zoo found a way round this was through Volunteer staff who would give one day a week to work at the zoo and in the process this would help towards their educational and professional endeavours, as many were interested in going into related fields.
Guests at the Grand Park Lancaster Gate Hotel can experience a wide and enthralling range of animals at London Zoo.
Land of the Lions
The most recent addition to the zoos stellar canon is the Land of the Lions which was opened in 2016. The Lions at London Zoo have over 2500 square metres of space to roam in indian themed areas including a high street, crumbling temple and a guard tower. Here the Lions are given ample space to roam and hunt whilst also giving visitors a clear view into their world. There is also an interactive adventure in which lion lovers can help a veterinary team take on a Lion emergency in the Gir forest.
In With the Spiders
This exhibition is one for the arachnid aficionados. Here visitors will be able to immerse themselves in an exhibit about spiders the magnitude of which has never been seen in Europe. Beginning with an introduction to England’s native species, visitors can then acquaint themselves with some fo the world’s most vibrant and exotic arachnid species such as the famously deadly Black Widow spider and even bird eating species. Visitors can also visit the spider nursery to see how Zoo staff breed spiders in an effort to conserve their numbers whilst also being able to get up close and personal with species such as the orb spider.
In With the Lemurs
This is another interactive exhibit, and this time for all the family. Whilst some may shake in their boots at the site of a Lion and others may be squeamish of the creepy crawly arachnids, the Lemur exhibit will enchant you and inform you about the wonderfully cute furry animals. Created by professional experts and horticulturalists, this is a trip through the Madagascan shrub forests where the Lemurs roam. You can watch them as they create burrows and bathe in the sunshine. There is always a Lemur on a sun platform here and you can learn how the London Zoo experts conserve these endangered animals in the wild.