London Zoo (sometimes called Regent's Park Zoo) is the world's oldest scientific zoo.
It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study.
The founders' aim was to dispel human ignorance about God's creatures. (Animals were firmly considered to be the work of an almighty hand; when the zoo was conceived in 1826, it would be 33 years before Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species.")
For Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, originator of the project and president of the Zoological Society of London, the animals were to be "objects of scientific research, not of vulgar admiration." Vulgar admiration was for shabby, for-profit menageries. Raffles, an officer of the East India Company and the founder of Singapore, acquired the land in Regent's Park but died of a stroke at 45 before the zoo opened in 1828.The Zoological Society of London was established by Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir Humphry Davy in 1826, who obtained the land for the zoo and created its plans. After Raffles's death, the third Marquis of Lansdowne took over and supervised the building of the first animal houses.
In April 1828, the zoo opened its doors to fellows of the Society to provide access to species such as Arabian oryx, greater kudus Orangutang, and other animals, some of which are sadly now extinct. .
In 1831 or 1832, the animals of the Tower of London menagerie were transferred to the zoo's collection. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today, it houses a collection of 673 species of animals, with 19,289 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.
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