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London Zoo Review
Owned by the Zoological Society of London (a charity), the zoo opened in 1828. A recent modernization program has seen the introduction of several big attractions, with a focus on wildlife conservation, education, and the breeding of endangered species. The huge BUGS pavilion (Biodiversity Underpinning Global Survival) is a self-sustaining, contained ecosystem with 140 species of exotic plants, animals, and creepy-crawlies. At Gorilla Kingdom you can watch the four residents—Effie, Kesho, Jookie, and Zaire—at close range. Rainforest Life is a recreated nighttime rainforest environment, home to tiny marmosets and other rain-forest-dwelling creatures, including bats. The new Children's Zoo allows kids to see a host of unusual creatures up close, including aardvarks and mongooses. It also contains play areas and a petting zoo. The state-of-the-art Penguin Beach is the most popular place in the zoo at 11:30, when the penguins receive their main feed—or you could try and nab one of the six VIP tickets for 2 pm that allow guided access to the enclosure, where you get close enough to actually stroke the placid creatures; tickets are £25 weekdays, £40 weekend and demand is high. Other zoo highlights include the Butterfly Paradise; the Blackburn Pavilion, with its hundreds of tropical bird species; and the Big Cats enclosure, home to a pack of lions and a pair of beautiful Sumatran tigers. Check the website or the information board out front for free events, including creature close encounters and 'ask the keeper' sessions.
- Address: Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY | Map It
- Phone: 020/7722–3333
- Cost: £20
- Hours: Mid-Nov.–Feb., daily 10–4; Mar.–early Sept., daily 10–6; early-Sept.–Oct., daily 10–5:30; early–mid-Nov., daily 10–4:30; last admission 1 hr before closing
- Website: www.zsl.org
- Tube: Camden Town, then Bus 274.
- Location: Regent's Park and Hampstead
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