The Evolution of Zoos

  • 4000 BCE

    First Zoo: Hierakonpolis

    First Zoo: Hierakonpolis
    In this zoo, animals did not have their own enclosures. It was unsanitary and animals were abused. Zookeepers would break their bones if they stepped out of line. They sacrificed crocodiles and hippos because they represented the power and chaos of the rivers. Hunters would head out and gather striped hyenas and Fennec foxes, soft-shell turtles, gazelles, hartebeest, ibexes, and Barbary sheep. Then they would kill them at the zoo. Animals would also be buried with their owners.
  • 1500 BCE

    The First "Real" Zoo in Egypt

    The First "Real" Zoo in Egypt
    The first "real" zoo was established by Queen Hatshepsut in 1500 B.C. in Egypt by collecting animals from all over Africa. Later, Emperor Wen Wang of China built a zoo to show his wealth and power. Spread over 1,500 acres, it had animals from all over his empire and was named the Garden of Intelligence.
  • 790 BCE

    The Animal Collector

    The Animal Collector
    Emperor Charlamagne collected animals from other rulers. He had three zoos and his favorite animal that he collected was an elephant from Baghdad. His animals lived in better conditions than most.
  • 30 BCE

    The Rise of Private Zoos

    The Rise of Private Zoos
    Private zoos were the way to show the status among the wealthy in Rome. The animals were often used to show entertainment to guests. We know this because of wall carvings in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Evidence shows that owners of private zoos hired handlers to make sure animals are healthy and reproducing.
  • The System of Nature

    The System of Nature
    Carl Linnaeus wrote a book classifying animals, with the title System of Nature. This caused a new branch of science to develop: zoology. This system is still widely used today.
  • The London Zoo

    The London Zoo
    By the mid-1830s, the zoo was becoming very much public space in Regent's Park. By the 1840s there was a carnivore terrace, essentially a series of picture frame cages for the lions and large gardens and lawns for people to picnic upon. Many of its cages were barred and quite small and they didn't have much vegetation in them,' says Dr. Michael Hutchins, the director of the Bird-Smart Wind Energy campaign for the American Bird Conservancy.
  • Jenny the Orangutan

    Jenny the Orangutan
    Jenny arrived at the London Zoo in 1837 and quickly became a crowd favorite. She was encountered by Charles Darwin, a famous biologist, in 1838. She was the first orangutan to be displayed there.
  • The Berlin Zoological Garden

    The Berlin Zoological Garden
    The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest and best-known zoo in Germany. It has more than 20,200 animals in the zoo, and it even has an aquarium! It is the most-visited zoo in Europe and is one of the most popular in the entire world.
  • Melbourne Zoo: First Zoo in Australia

    Melbourne Zoo: First Zoo in Australia
    Over 250-320 species from around the world can be found in the beautifully landscaped settings of Melbourne Zoo. People can get inside certain areas to interact with the animals. Kids under 16 years of age get in free. This zoo is still around today.
  • The Moscow Zoo

    The Moscow Zoo
    The Moscow Zoo, also known as Moskovsky Zoopark, was founded in 1864 by professor-biologists from Moscow State University. The zoo was nationalized in 1919, and the ownership was transferred to the Government of Moscow in 1922. The zoo had over 7,500 animals.
  • The Leningrad Zoo: First Zoo in Russia

    The Leningrad Zoo: First Zoo in Russia
    The Zoological Gardens were significantly damaged during the Second World War - but even though the city's residents were themselves starving, the Zoo's elephant always was fed. When the elephant was killed in a bombing raid in 1944, the whole city mourned. The Zoo closed during the middle of the War but opened again in 1944.
  • America's First Zoo

    America's First Zoo
    It started in Philadelphia, PA. The admission only cost $0.25 when it first began. This zoo was supposed to open in 1859 but then was delayed until 1874. They delayed the opening of the zoo because of the Civil War.
  • Central Park Zoo

    Central Park Zoo
    The Central Park Zoo began in the 1860s. New Yorkers started to donate their unwanted pets to the city. In 1983, the Central Park Zoo went under construction and replaced many cages and created a more natural environment.
  • The Taronga Zoo

    The Taronga Zoo
    The Taronga Zoo opened in Sydney. When the zoo opened it consisted of 228 mammals, 552 birds, and 64 reptiles. Throughout the years the Taronga Zoo has expanded to 70 acres of land.
  • The Omaha Zoo

    The Omaha Zoo
    It has the largest cat complex in the world, the largest indoor swamp, indoor rainforest and enclosed desert in the geodesic dome.
  • The Denver Zoo

    The Denver Zoo
    Today the zoo is home to more than 4,300 animals representing over 600 species. Still located in the 80-acre City Park, the zoo is one of the greenest in America thanks to its sustainability efforts. Attractions include a Conservation Carousel that features hand-carved wooden replicas of some of its animals, including giraffes, okapi and a baby gorilla; a Zoo Railroad and 4D Theater.
  • Detroit Zoo

    Detroit Zoo
    There are more than 2,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates representing at least 240 different species, and major exhibits that include: the Arctic Ring of Life, Australian Outback Adventure, Great Apes of Harambe, National Amphibian Conservation Center, Holden Reptile Conservation Center, Penguinarium and Butterfly Garden.
  • The Louisville Zoo

    The Louisville Zoo
    The Lousiville Zoo opened in 1969, and it houses over 1,500 animals. People come from all around the globe to see the animals there. Most people that visit the zoo say that it is excellent and has a wide variety of animals.
  • The Hamilton Zoo

    The Hamilton Zoo
    Over 600 animals live in this large zoo. Hamilton zoo boasts the largest walk-through aviary in New Zealand dedicated to native birds and plants; take a stroll through and cheeky kaka may land close by. Hamilton Zoo started its life as Hilldale Game Farm in 1969 under the ownership of Mr. and Mrs. Powell. They mainly raised game birds for the Acclimatisation Society, although there was also a small collection of exotic mammals and birds for viewing.