Located in Phoenix Park, Ireland, Dublin just 2-4 km west of the city centre, Dublin Zoo is the largest zoo in Ireland. First opened in 1831 and covering over 69 acres of Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo is one of Dublin’s most sought-after attractions.
Committed to, “Work in partnership with zoos worldwide to make a significant contribution to the conservation of the endangered species on Earth”, Dublin Zoo divided into several exhibits namely, African Plains, Birds, City Farm, Endangered Species, Fringes of the Arctic, The Kaziranga Forest Trail, Plants, Reptiles, and World of Cats, is acknowledged for its role as conservation, education and study.
Interesting Facts About Dublin Zoo
• On May 10, 1830 at a meeting held at the Rotunda Hospital, The Royal Zoological Society of Dublin was founded. This was later followed by the opening of the Zoological Gardens Dublin on September 1, 1831 which was made possible by way of a donation from the London Zoo of 46 mammals and 72 birds.
• The zoo’s upon opening charged an admission per person of sixpence. This was considered somewhat expensive and so limited to relatively wealthy and middle-class people. In spite of this, the thing that made Dublin Zoo remarkably different and more popular was a decision to reduce admission to an affordable cost of one penny on Sundays.
• In 1833, the zoo’s original cottage-style thatch-roofed entrance lodge, still visible today was built at a cost of £30. In 1838, to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria, the zoo held an open day which resulted in a total of 20,000 visitors, which remains to date the most visitors attending the zoo to in a day. Among the visitors was the former President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant who came to view the zoo’s world-famous lions.
• In 1898 the zoo built its first tearooms.
• In 1844The Dublin Zoo received its first giraffe.
• In 1855 the zoo bought its first pair of lions.
• On June 17 1903 a zoo employee was killed by an elephant while he nursed the animal’s injured foot. The elephant was put down by the Royal Irish Constabulary.
• During the Easter Rising of 1916 the zoo ran out of meat. To ensure the survival of the lions and tigers several animals in the zoo were slaughtered and used for meat.
• On March 20 1919 the Dublin Zoo witnessed the first birth of a lion named Slats.
• Between 1989 and 1990 the council considered closing the Dublin Zoo due to financial hardship. However as per the custom in other European countries the zoo managed to remain open by way of a meaningful annual grant by the Government.
• In 2013 during a supervised visit a mother and her two-year-old girl were attacked and injured by a South American Tapir. This resulted in the Zoo’s decision to review its policies for such visits.
Dublin Zoo Webcams
The Kaziranga Forest Trail
Named after the Kaziranga National Park in India, Dublin Zoo’s Asian elephant paddock, The Kaziranga Forest Trail was opened in June 2007. The enclosure which houses a herd of eight elephants features two pools for the elephants, a waterfall and sheltered viewing areas and a playground for children.
Fringes of the Arctic
Fringes of the Arctic exhibit houses animals which are either aquatic or native to cold climates. These include California sea lions, Grey Wolves, Humboldt penguins, and Siberian tigers.
Opened in 2001 and covering 13 hectares, Dublin Zoo’s African Plains is an Africa-themed exhibit with the main attraction the “African Savanna”. The exhibit houses common zebras, giraffes, ostriches, scimitar-horned oryx and white rhinoceros, all of which share a large outdoor paddock. The Gorilla Rainforest exhibit opened in 2012, is home to a troop of western lowland gorillas which include a silverback male, two adult females, and two young gorillas.
Other animals housed in the African Plains include Abyssinian ground hornbills, African wild dogs, common chimpanzees, eastern bongo, hippopotamus and sooty mangabeys. Africa Plains also features an African-themed restaurant and a gift shop.
View The Dublin Zoo African Savanna Web Cam.
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