Zoological Society of London

The Zoological Society of London ( German: Zoological Society of London, ZSL sometimes abbreviated ), is a in April 1826 in London by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, Sir Humphry Davy, Joseph Sabine, Nicholas Aylward Vigors and other eminent naturalists founded learned society. Today, the company is globally active in the protection of species and operates the London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.


Raffles was also its first president, but he died soon after in July in 1826. His successor was Henry Petty - Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne, the leased an area in the north of Regent 's Park by the Crown for a symbolic amount and the construction of the first animal houses commissioned. The royal charter of George IV dated March 27, 1829.

Purpose of the company was to be able to explore animals in relative freedom. In April 1828 the zoo for the members of the company was opened in 1831, he was the royal menagerie of William IV added. 1847, the public was allowed in order to facilitate the financing; soon after the London christened the garden to the zoo and thus shaped the valid everywhere designation of such zoos. The zoo had at that time the most comprehensive collection of animals around the world.

At the beginning of the 20th century highlighted the need to keep very large animals in a more natural environment and explore. Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell ( Secretary of ZSL 1903-35 ) set out a vision of a new park, look no further than 70 miles outside of London, with an area of ​​at least 200 acres ( 0.8 km ²). 1926 could benefit from the decline of agriculture and found in the seedy, almost 600 acres ( 2.4 km ²) Hall Farm, near the village of Whipsnade in the Chiltern Hills the ideal place. The company bought the property in December 1926 for 13,480 pounds 12 shillings and 10 pence. 1931 Whipsnade Wild Animal Park was opened to the public as the first open zoological garden in the world. Under Secretary Julian Huxley ( 1935-42 ), later UNESCO and WWF - founder, the first " Children's Zoo " was established.

After 1960, Lord Zuckerman ( at that time secretary of ZSL ) with funds from two medical foundations, the Institute of Zoology, could delve into the employees of the Zoological Society scientists. 1962 Arabian Oryx was loaned to a herd in Phoenix (Arizona ). This process established the first international, collaborative breeding program.

The work today

Today, the Zoological Society of London is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity committed. Your key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The company operates the London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. In the Institute of Zoology scientific research is carried out and the company is actively involved in conservation measures worldwide. Since 1830, they are the Journal of Zoology out.

Further Reading

  • Henry Scherren: The Zoological Society of London: A Sketch of its Foundation and Development, and the Story of its Farm, Museum, Gardens, menagerie and Library. Cassell, London 1905; online