London Zoological Gardens is run by The Zoological Society of London (ZSL),
which also runs Whipsnade Wild Animal Park (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo). Located within
Regents Park and with its entrance at the north end, this famous 36 acre zoo has
been established since 1828. However it wasn't open to the public till 1847.
Parking facilities are all around the outer circle of the park via meters or
almost opposite the Zoo is the Zoos own dedicated parking. For short stops you
will find the meters cheaper but you may have a longish walk to the entrance.
A leader in conservation many innovations have been born here which have
included the first Reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853), first
insect house (1881) and the first children's zoo (1938).
On entry you will be given a leaflet that contains a map of the Zoo, there are
also signs all around guiding you in the appropriate direction and if you still
need help there's a staffed information booth.
While the range of animals is varied, some of the larger mammals such as the
Elephants have been moved to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. However the Zoo still
has over 12,000 animals and some 650 different species. The Zoo continues to
evolve and innovate and some of the latest addictions include the Gorilla
kingdom, Meet the Monkeys, Butterfly Paradise and Into Africa. There's also an
'Animals in Action' display with 30 minutes of flying, foraging and leaping
action with animals showing their amazing natural skills and abilities.
Within the complex are two snacks restaurants, a fish and chip shop and a
smaller kiosk. There is also a gift shop. The childrens zoo has some of the more
conventional animals such as donkeys and goats. There is also an area with a
small fair ground ride and bouncy castle alongside the butterfly building. The
reptiles, insects and fish each have their own dedicated buildings. The Aquarium
and reptile house are a series of glass fronted enclosures and tanks, each well
lit but within in a darkened room. Many of the mammals have both and outside
area and inside area where they can be viewed. All around the zoo are aviarys
and enclosures where many types of birds. Next to the Aquarium and again on the
far side by the giraffes enclosure are two large aviarys that you can walk
through as the birds are free flying around you. You can also walk inside the
monkey house but don't get the camera too close to the inmates, they have a
habit of snatching the camera right out of your hand. One section is now called
'Into Africa', where animals specific to the region are to be found such as
giraffes, Hunting Dogs and Zebras.
Events take place throughout the day at specific times such as a chance to
handle large spiders (under supervision) or watch animals at their feeding
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