Zoological Society of London

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Zoological Society of London (ZSL), main building
Zoological Society of London (ZSL), main building, entrance

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


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

The purpose of the society was to be able to explore animals in relative freedom. In April 1828 the zoological garden was opened for the members of the society, in 1831 it was expanded to include the royal menagerie of Wilhelm IV . In 1847 the public was admitted to facilitate funding; soon afterwards the Londoners christened the garden a zoo and thus coined the name of such zoo , which is valid everywhere. The zoo had the most comprehensive collection of animals in the world at the time.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the need to keep and research especially large animals in a more natural environment became apparent. Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (Secretary of the ZSL 1903-35) envisioned a new park no more than 70 miles outside of London and covering at least 200 acres (0.8 km²). In 1926, the decline in agriculture was the ideal location at the dilapidated nearly 600 acres (2.4 km²) Hall Farm in the village of Whipsnade in the Chiltern Hills . The company bought the farm in December 1926 for £ 13,480, 12 shillings and 10 pence. In 1931, Whipsnade Wild Animal Park was opened to the public as the world's first open zoological garden. The first “children's zoo” was set up under Secretary Julian Huxley (1935–42), later founder of UNESCO and WWF .

After 1960, Lord Zuckerman (then Secretary of the ZSL) established the Institute of Zoology with funds from two medical foundations , in which scientists employed by the Zoological Society could conduct research. In 1962, an Arabian oryx was loaned to a flock in Phoenix, Arizona . This process established the first international, collaborative breeding program.

Work today

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

Journals of the Zoological Society of London

Since 1830 she has published the Journal of Zoology , formerly the Proceedings of the Zoological Society . From 1864 to 1980 she published the Zoological Record ( ZR ). In 1980 ZR switched to BIOSIS . She has been the editor of Animal Conservation since 1998 .

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; on-line


  1. http://www.zsl.org/conservation/

Web links

Coordinates: 51 ° 32 ′ 8.5 ″  N , 0 ° 9 ′ 27 ″  W.

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