London Zoo

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ZSL London Zoo
Date opened 1828
Location Regent's Park, London, England
Land area 36 acres [1] (0.108 km²)
Coordinates 51°32′08″N 00°09′21″W / 51.53556°N 0.15583°W / 51.53556; -0.15583
Number of animals 16,802 (2006)[2]
Number of species 755 (2008)[2]
Website ZSL London Zoo

The London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo.[3] It was opened in London on 27 April 1828,[4] and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847.[3] Today it houses a collection of 755 species of animals, with 15,104 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.[2]

It is managed under the aegis of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), established in 1826.[3] It is situated at the northern edge of Regent's Park, on the boundary line between City of Westminster and Camden (the Regent's Canal runs through it).[5] The Society also has a more spacious site at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire to which the larger animals such as elephants and rhinos have been moved.[6][7] As well as being the first scientific zoo, ZSL London Zoo also opened the first Reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853),[8] first insect house (1881) and the first children's zoo (1938).

ZSL receives no state funding and relies on 'Fellows', 'Friends', 'Members', entrance fees and sponsorship to generate income.[9][10]

However, the ZSL's nearby Institute of Zoology is eligible for public grants as a scientific institution. It has an international reputation in bioconservation.[11]

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