Who Started the First Zoo?

“Zoo” is short for “zoological garden”. And a zoological garden is a place where living animals are kept and exhibited. Why do we keep wild animals in zoos?  The most important reason is that everyone is interested in animals.

Another reason is that scientists are able to learn many important things by studying living animals. The first zoo we know anything about was started as long ago as 1150. B.C. by a Chinese emperor, and it had many kinds of of deer, birds, and fish in it.

Even thought it was somewhat like our modern zoos, there was one big catch to it. It probably was open to the public but was kept for the amusement of of the emperor and his court.

Since is costs a great deal of money to put together a zoo and maintain it, zoos is ancient times were assembled and owned by kings and rich lords. Many of them had collections of a rare birds, fish, and animals of all kinds.

The first public zoological garden in the world was in 1829 in Regent’s Park in London. Then came the Zoological Garden of Berlin, which was begun in 1844 and became one of the finest and best in the world.

In this country we have many zoos. At Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedfordshire, animals from all parts of the world thrive, free to roam, in the surrounding countryside, fenced in only for safety’s sake. Other popular zoos are found at Bristol and Edinburgh.

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