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London Zoo

Listed under Visitor Attractions in London, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of London Zoo
  • Photo of London Zoo
Photo of London Zoo
Photo by flickr user Neil Phillips
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Although the name Stamford Raffles may bring to mind various creatures which belong in the reptile house, Sir Stamford opened his zoo to the public in 1847. Originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific purpose, London Zoo has undergone vast changes over time. Housing over 16,802 individual critters and crawlers, London Zoo is the zoo that did things first. The northern edge of Regent’s Park is home to the first reptile house, aquarium, insect house and children’s zoo in Britain. Famous past residents include the now extinct quagga, the first hippopotamus to be seen since the Roman Empire and the first giant panda and polar bear.

The zoo also holds the only populations of humming birds and Socorro doves which are now extinct in the wild. Gorilla Kingdom, home to Bobby, Zaire, Elfie and Mijukuu, boasts an indoor gym and a giant island for its residents to retreat to. Although slightly voyeuristic, there is even a breeding room for those who want to become a part of the zoo’s future.

Cages have been replaced with enclosures but some ugly buildings still remain. Although informers say the penguins think their enclosure palatial, the listed structure wouldn’t be an ideal spot to cool off in. Despite this, the zoo is famed for its architecture; the Round House considered one of the first Modernist buildings to be built in Britain.

London Zoo Homepage.

Written by  Sybilla Harvey.

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