Oldest zoos

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Back in the Middle Ages, people began to create artificial parks where various rare species of animals are located. The first mention of the zoo dates back to 1462. If originally such islets of wildlife were a whim of the rich, today they also perform a conservation function. Some especially rare species of animals can be seen only here, experts take care of the animals, are engaged in their reproduction.

There are many large zoos in the world, each with its own characteristics in the form of scale, rare species and history. Nevertheless, man managed to preserve these wildlife museums for posterity.

Ho Chi Minh City, 1864. This zoo was built in the 19th century by French colonizers. They used an area of ​​20 hectares for a garden with exotic plants. Thus, Thao Kam Vien Saigon was originally created as a botanical garden. It's just that they marked open-air cages on its territory, which contained animals and birds caught in local tropical forests. Here they were waiting for their turn to be sent to the zoos of France. When the country finally got rid of colonial rule and reunited in 1975, foreign tourists went to Vietnam. The local authorities decided to focus on the development of this zoological park and began to acquire for it exotic animals, even for Vietnam. Currently, about half a thousand birds and animals live in the open-air cages of this zoo. There is also a botanical garden, where 1800 species of plants grow. There are 20 species of orchids alone, a collection of dwarf trees and cacti is also distinguished. Visiting this zoo is inexpensive - less than a dollar. For this amount, you can spend a whole day here, enjoying the view of unusual plants and well-groomed animals.

Pretoria, 1899. The oldest zoo in South Africa is called the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa. This institution was founded by the director of the Staatsmuseum, Dr. Haagner. The scientist secured the government's acquisition of land for the zoo and moved there a collection of birds and several mammals that inhabit the museum's backyard. Since the organization did not have its own funds to purchase animals, the land was also used here as a staging post for the transportation of African animals to America and Europe. Thanks to this approach, the inhabitants of Pretoria were able to see many exotic animals. Currently, most of the African animals are kept here. For example, it was here that the first white rhino cub was born, born in captivity. Guests of the zoo are offered unique night tours, through which you can observe lions, elephants and red pandas. You can also walk around the zoo with a guide and even spend the night right here in a tent, enjoying the sounds of wildlife.

Washington, 1889. In the capital of the United States is the Smithsonian National Zoo. It covers an area of ​​163 acres in Rock Creek Park, District of Columbia. Since the National Park is part of the Smithsonian Institution, admission to it, like all museums of this organization in Washington, is free. In 1889, the zoo was founded specifically to contain and store endangered animals in North America. It contained individuals of endangered bison, as well as other species. Today, the zoo's collection contains many living creatures, from an ant to an elephant. They represent a variety of habitats, from rainforest to local woodlands. In total, the zoo contains over 400 species of animals, the most popular of which are pandas, tigers, bears, lions and giraffes.

Helsinki, 1889. The Korkeasaari Zoo in the capital of Finland began operations at the end of the 19th century. The institution is located on the island of the same name. This is not only one of the oldest, but also one of the northernmost zoos in the world. By 2007, it contained more than 200 species of different animals, while the number of individuals exceeded 2000 in general. About a thousand species also existed here. The zoo's collection also contains over 20 rare and endangered animal species. Korkeasaari Zoo is a member of various European and world conservation associations. The zoo's emblem is the snow leopard. The institution covers an area of ​​22 hectares, it works all year round. This is one of the most popular places in the capital of the country. There is a ferry here from the Market Square in summer, and the best way to get to the zoo in winter is by bus or metro. The history of the zoo is connected with the opening of a ferry line to the island of Korkeasaari in 1865. Then there was a popular resting place for the townspeople. In 1884, a restaurant "Pukki" appeared on the island, which is open in the warm season even now. In 1889, Lieutenant August Fabritius founded a zoo here, the first inhabitants of which were white and brown bears. The collection began to grow rapidly, a year later there were about 90 animals representing 40 species in the institution. The famous snow leopards appeared here at the end of the 19th century. Currently, almost all such animals live in other zoos in the world. Are their descendants. By 1911, there were already more than 600 individuals in the zoo, there were 43 species of mammals and 70 species of birds. And in 1919, the Helsingin Anniskeluyhtiö company transferred the zoo to the ownership of the city. The collection grew, at the end of the last century there were sections devoted to animals and plants from other parts of the world. Now the zoo is divided into several thematic parts. Thus, Northern Rarities showcase rare Arctic creatures, Valley of the Felines is dedicated to cats of all sizes, with special attention paid to the Amur leopard. In the "Plateau of Mongolia" you can see the steppe animals of Asia, in other sections the inhabitants of Australia, the Amazon, North America and South Asia are represented.

Tokyo, 1882. The oldest and most famous zoo in the country is located in the capital, Tokyo. The Japanese spirit is felt here, thanks to at least a pagoda and a tea house. The territory of the Ueno Zoo has become a good home for many animals, among them the giant salamander, rare pheasants, and wallaby kangaroos stand out. You can literally face to face with the largest animals here, however, through the glass in the "Tiger Forest" and "Gorilla Forest". In 1972, the panda bear house was built at the zoo, which was donated by China in honor of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries. But before all these bears were declared the national property of China. In 2008, the last pair of pandas died, but since 2011, amazing creatures have reappeared in the zoo, they were rented from a neighboring state. There is a petting zoo especially for guests with children, where you can ride the monorail. The zoo also houses the National Museum of Nature and Science. It is a multi-storey building with hundreds of exhibits. In front of the entrance there is a life-size replica of a huge blue whale, and inside there are numerous dinosaurs. An adult ticket to the zoo costs about $ 7, while children are free.

Basel, 1874. The inhabitants of the city call their zoo simply - Zolli. This is a very popular establishment, with about a million visitors every year. As a result, Basel Zoo is second only to Chillon Castle in the number of tourists in the country. This natural park was opened back in 1874. On July 3 of that year, a lot of curious people came here. They saw a pond with various marsh and water birds, wild boars, deer, bison and elk. Even then, there was a place for big cats. In the first year, the zoo was visited by about 62 thousand guests, although the population of Basel itself was then about 50 thousand. In 1884, a significant expansion of the garden took place. An arena was built for predators and real villages for the natives. There, Moroccans, Nubians or Singaporeans lived for weeks, demonstrating their martial prowess, dancing and the art of charming snakes. And in 1890, the first lions appeared in the zoo, and special cages were built especially for them. Already in 1891, the first offspring of these cats appeared. In 1900, the first monkey appeared in the zoo. The institution received a solid financial basis in 1901 as an inheritance from a resident of Basel, John Beck. He donated 750 thousand francs. Today Zolli celebrates his name day with free admission. During the war, the zoo fell into disrepair, and in 1937, a wave of foot and mouth disease destroyed many valuable animals. However, after the end of hostilities, Zolli quickly recovered, and the possibility of importing valuable animals did its job. Here giraffes, okapis, rhinos appeared, and in 1952, elephants. Today the zoo is home to over 6 thousand living creatures representing 600 species. Particular attention should be paid to the vivarium, which clearly shows how life has evolved on the planet.

Moscow, 1864. The zoo in the capital of Russia is one of the oldest in the world. On January 31, 1864, a zoo was opened in Moscow, and only 4 establishments can compare with it in age. The initiative to organize a zoo in Russia came from the Russian Imperial Society for the Acclimatization of Animals and Plants. The members of the organization decided to open a menagerie at Presnenskie ponds. There were green hills, blooming gardens, which attracted Muscovites here, including the poor. At the time of the opening of the zoo, there were 134 domestic animals and 153 wild animals, and there was also a place for seven reptiles. The main emphasis, of course, was on the Russian fauna. The organizers tried to show the diversity of native nature, although there was a place for exotic lions, jaguar, tiger, leopard, rhinoceros and crocodile. For the zoo, many animals were donated by rich people. So, the Indian elephant appeared thanks to Alexander II, the rhinoceros was presented by the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, the zebra was given by the Egyptian khedive Izmail Pasha. The zoological garden was under the patronage of members of the imperial family. After the revolution, in 1919, the zoo was nationalized. In 1927, the New Territory opened, where animals were already kept not in cages, but in large enclosures. The zoo has finally turned into a zoo. There was an active educational work, hundreds of people came to lectures, a circle of young biologists worked. The zoo survived the years of the Great Patriotic War, receiving guests. Employees, on the other hand, sometimes heroically tried to alleviate the hardships of their wards. In the 1970s-1980s, the zoo began to decay, it experienced financial difficulties. Only thanks to Yuri Luzhkov in the 1990s, the biological object was reconstructed and updated. New exhibitions, animals and birds appeared here. In 2003, a new elephant pavilion was opened. Currently, the Moscow Zoo contains more than 8 thousand animals, which represent a thousand species. Some species appeared in captivity for the first time in the world. The zoo is a member of the World and European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA, EAZA), Euro-Asian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EARAZA). He collaborates with international organizations and programs for the protection of rare animals.

Hamburg, 1863. The Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg is spread over 25 hectares. Initially, it was just a menagerie, opened by Karl Hagenbeck Sr. on one of the central squares of the city. Since 1870, the commercial institution was run by Karl Hagenbeck Jr., a famous trainer and circus performer. Then he began to arrange shows of various peoples - Laplanders, Nubians, Eskimos, Massai. In 1907, Hagenbeck opened the world's first zoo with no cells at all. Animals were housed in spacious enclosures, which became an innovation and an example to follow. For more than a hundred years, the descendants of the Gagenbeks made every effort to create one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. It is still the property of the family. A 7-kilometer railway is used to move around the territory, there are routes for walking. The elephant and orangutan pavilions are especially popular with guests. Recently, a tropical aquarium with a volume of 8 thousand cubic meters appeared in the zoo. It is home to about 13 thousand exotic sea creatures. All in all, the collection of the zoo numbers about 2500 animals, representing 360 species. Not so long ago, the world's first themed hotel at the zoo opened here.

Frankfurt, 1858. The zoological garden of this German city occupies an area of ​​13 hectares, it is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the country. It all began with the appearance in Frankfurt at the initiative of local residents of the Zoological Society in the early 1850s. Soon, the city had its own zoo, the second in Germany. The residents of Frankfurt raised funds for its organization. At first, the institution was located on the outskirts of the city, so it was unpopular. The situation changed after moving to a new location in 1874. During the First World War, the zoo turned out to be of no use to anyone, it began to decline. And the Second World War turned out to be fatal for the institution - on March 18, 1944, Allied bombs destroyed all the buildings of the park itself and the zoological society. In May 1945, the famous zoologist Grzimek became the new director, who took up the active restoration of the zoo. Since then, Frankfurt has even managed to gain worldwide fame, thanks to successful attempts at breeding in captivity of all four species of great apes. Since then, more than 100 babies have been born in gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobos and orangutan. The zoo is also home to the largest primates - lowland gorillas. Their aviary is separated by armored glass, behind which you can safely watch the exotic representatives of the jungle.

Berlin, 1844. This zoo is located on an area of ​​35 hectares in the metropolitan area of ​​Tiergarten. The collection of animals is one of the largest in the country. And as many animals are collected here, nowhere in the world. The zoo contains about 15 thousand animals representing 1,500 species. There is also its own aquarium, which has as many as three floors. It is home to not only fish, but also reptiles, amphibians, insects and invertebrates. It is no coincidence that the zoo is one of the main attractions in Berlin, with 2.6 million visitors every year. This zoo was the first in Germany and only the ninth in the world. The institution opened on August 1, 1844. In 1869 Dr. Heinrich Bodinus became the director. Under him, an antelope enclosure appeared, which, thanks to its unusual style, quickly became popular. Over time, enclosures for elephants, ostriches and flamingos appeared, as well as the famous Elephanttentor gate. The zoo has also placed trade pavilions with restaurants on its territory. In 1888, Dr. Ludwig Heck became the new manager of the institution. He continued to increase the animal fund, catching up on this indicator of the London Zoo. The aquarium appeared in 1913 thanks to the plans of the animal researcher Oskar Heinroth. Following the example of the Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, all structures here were dismantled during the First World War. And during the Second World War, almost the entire zoo was destroyed. Of the 3,715 of its former inhabitants, only 91 survived. From 1945 to 1956, the management of the zoo was carried out by Katharina Heinroth. At that time, this was the only female director of such an institution. Thanks to her, the Berlin Zoo was rebuilt. The elephant and antelope enclosures have been renovated, and a new enclosure has been built for hippos. In 1956, Heinz-Georg Klös became the director and continued the restoration work. He built rooms for birds, monkeys, bears. An aviary for predators also appeared, special attention was paid to those animals that prefer night hunting.In Berlin, they began to breed rare and endangered animals. Klyos opened a pet school on the territory of the zoo, and sculptures of animals appeared in the park. The director not only reconstructed old buildings, but also erected new ones. After the reunification of Germany, the Berlin zoo began merging with the Tierpark in the eastern part of the city, which was considered the largest landscape zoo on the continent.

Dublin, 1831. This zoo is located in the Phoenix Park in the capital of the country. This is one of the most famous local attractions; up to a million people come here a year. The zoo was founded back in 1830, and a year later its grand opening for visitors took place. The first exposition consisted of 46 mammals and 70 birds. In 1916, during the Easter Uprising, food shortages led to the death of some of the animals, but over time, the administration restored the population of the inhabitants. In 1994, Ireland adopted a state program that provided for the development of a park for animals and the creation of various thematic zones on its territory. The first to open was the “World of Primates” exhibition, which represented entire islands inhabited by various species of intelligent mammals. Over time, the "World of cats", "Arctic ice", "African plains" and "City farm" appeared here. The most recent in the zoo was an area dedicated to Africa. For this, the area of ​​the zoo was increased by 13 hectares. Giraffes, elephants, hippos and rhinos now live here. Interestingly, the first version of the logo of the MGM film company in 1916-1928 featured Leo the lion, who lives in Dublin.

London, 1828. The London Zoo is considered the oldest scientific zoo in the world. It was founded on April 27, 1828, as a zoological collection for scientific research. Since 1847, visitors have been allowed here. Today it is almost the largest zoological collection in Great Britain. In 2006, there are about 16 thousand animals of 755 species. Administratively, the zoo is subordinate to the Zoological Society of London, created back in 1826. And this park is located in the northern part of Regent's Park, between Westminster and Camden, on an area of ​​36 acres. The territory of the London Zoological Assembly hosted the world's first public serpentarium (1849), an aquarium (1853), an insectarium (1881), and a children's zoo (1938). In 2001, large animals such as elephants and rhinos were transferred from London Zoo to Wipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire. This institution also operates under the direction of the Zoological Society of London. It should be noted that it does not receive any official funding at all, relying solely on contributions from its members, friends and assistants. The budget also includes funds from the sale of entrance tickets and proceeds from charitable foundations. The London Zoo is not only a biological monument, but also an architectural one. For example, the Round House, built in 1933 for gorillas by architect Berthold Lubetkin, became one of the first modernist buildings in the country. The same architect also built a pool for penguins in 1934.

Vienna, 1760. The oldest zoo in the world is located in Vienna's Tiergarten park next to Schönbrunn Palace. It was built back in 1752, then it was the imperial menagerie. I must say that animals in captivity have lived here since 1570. But the zoo was formed here only in the 18th century at the request of Emperor Franz I. In the center of the park, even a breakfast pavilion was built. Thirteen animal enclosures were built around it, which form what looks like slices of cut cake. Since 1779, ordinary residents began to be allowed here, and the entrance was free. To replenish the collection of the zoo, Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) even organized special expeditions to Africa and both America, they brought new species of animals. In 1828, a giraffe appeared here, which was a significant event. And in 1906, an elephant was born in Schöenbrunn, which became the first to be born in captivity. By the beginning of the First World War, the zoo housed 3,500 animals representing 712 species. But due to difficulties with food, the number of animals decreased to 900. The Second World War caused even more damage to the zoo. Because of the bombing, only 400 animals remained here, while many buildings were destroyed. In the 1980s, the institution was on the verge of financial disaster, and the situation returned to normal with the transfer of the zoo to private hands in 1992. The glorious institution celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2002, in honor of which a 5-euro silver coin was issued with the image of animals in the background of the main pavilion.

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