The London zoo is the oldest such establishment in the world, having been founded by the Zoological Society of London in 1826. This society didn't at first intend to have conventional folk milling around the zoo, interfering with their scientific studies, and for the first twenty years, only ZSL fellows were admitted into the London zoo. In 1847 however, due to a more significant number of animals being transferred from the Tower of London in 1832, and to help with funding, the society finally opened the zoo to the public.
One of the most visited tourist attractions in London, Regent's Zoo, as it's sometimes called, is home to over 690 zoological species that make up a total of about 20,000 animals. The zoo acts as a safe harbor for animals, and as an oasis of peaceful tranquility in the heart of London where visitors can get in touch with nature.
ZSL London Zoo is open from 10am every day of the year (except Christmas Day) with seasonal closing times.
Once you get past the zoo entrance, visitors are met with natural habitats that have been built to replicate each animal's natural habitat, and the London zoo is divided into enclosures. You’d be spoilt for choice and short of time to explore the dozens of exhibits, and here are some that should definitely not be missed.
There are myriad species of butterflies and moths at the butterfly paradise from all over the world, and this enclosure was opened in 2006. This exhibition also features the plants that butterflies feed on and live or breed within, with a variety of fragrant species that provide nectar for these insects. An incubator for caterpillars with a cabinet for displaying pupa development gives London zoo visitors the chance to witness various types of butterfly pupae.
There were an ostrich and stork house where the African Bird Safari exhibition stands today, and it was transformed into a modern aviary in 2005. This walk-through London zoo enclosure houses African bird species that include hornbills, ducks, storks, ibises, and starlings, amongst others. Some rare African birds that call the Bird Safari exhibition home include Bernier's teals, Fischer's turacos, lilac-breasted rollers, hamerkops, and white-faced whistling ducks.
There is a bird aviary enclosure themed after a tropical rainforest after the 2008 refurbishment of the old birdhouse at the London zoo. Constructed in 1883, the reptile sanctuary; the Blackburn Pavilion is home to over 50 different exotic bird species from all over the tropics, such as include macaws, sunbirds, toucans, turacos, barbets, kookaburras, avocets, and leiothrixes. A bird-themed clock outside the Blackburn pavilion offers visitors displays of this London zoo enclosure’s inhabitants every half hour of the day.