Did you know that it’s National Zoo Lover’s Day?! I’m sure we all have fond memories of visiting the zoo as kids. For me it was Chester Zoo. I remember being a little kid in awe of all these giant creatures; despite being so large the Giraffes and Elephants seemed like such gentle creatures.
One animal I didn’t like were the penguins. I have a distinct memory of visiting them and one deciding to chase me and start biting me – safe to say I’ve never visited any penguins since!
Did you know there are over 20,000 different animals in London Zoo alone with 700 different species? And the numbers are only increasing as more endangered animals are taken in.
London Zoo has a fascinating history in itself – being founded in 1826 it is one of the oldest zoo’s in the world. So in 2026 it’ll officially be 200 years old!
It’s thought that Winnie the Pooh’s author, AA Milne, was actually inspired by a black bear called Winnie who lived at the zoo until 1934. And Charles Darwin, father of evolution and the author of The Origin of Species, met his first ever ape visiting the zoo. He was interested in the human-like behaviour of an Orangutan called Jenny. Crazy to think London Zoo impacted the way we know our species and it’s origin today.
The word ‘jumbo’ also originated because of London Zoo! That’s because Jumbo was once the name of an African Bull elephant who resided there standing at 11 feet tall!
Most zoos only generate profit from donations and gate tickets so remember to support your local zoos or donate to a zoo program. Many zoo’s also allow you to adopt and sponsor animals!
Let us know your memories of visiting the zoo on our social media pages – we’d love to hear your stories.