Whipsnade Zoo - Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK
in Zoos
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 51° 50.995 W 000° 32.641
30U E 669155 N 5747197
Quick Description: Whipsnade Zoo is the largest in the United Kingdom. There are acres to explore in a clean environment with great views across the Chiltern Downs.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/1/2012 9:16:28 AM
Waymark Code: WME45Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
Visitors can drive around the perimeter or park and walk around the zoo. There is also a small train which takes you across the Passage through Asia.

Live events include meeting the meerkats, chimpanzee get-togethers, feeding the penguins, feeding the red river hogs, talking about the elephants, walking through the lemur enclosure and seeing the creatures in the Discovery Centre.

Wikipedia describes the history behind this great zoo: visit link

'ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a zoo located at Whipsnade, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England.

Originally the zoo was called Whipsnade Park Zoo, which was often shortened to Whipsnade Zoo or even just Whipsnade. In 1988 the name was changed to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, but in March 2007 it was renamed ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

It is owned by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats, and is a companion to ZSL London Zoo in Regent's Park, London.

The park covers 600 acres (2.4 km2), and can be located from miles to the north and from the air because of the Whipsnade White Lion, a large hill figure carved into the side of the Dunstable Downs (part of the Chiltern Hills) below the White Rhino enclosure.

Due to its size, inside the park, visitors may walk, use the Zoo's bus service, or drive their own cars between the various animal enclosures, or through an 'Asian' area where some animals are allowed to roam free. There is also a narrow gauge train service.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is one of Europe's largest wildlife conservation parks. It is home to 2,955 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild. The majority of the animals are kept within sizeable enclosures; others, such as the peacocks, the South American mara and Australian wallabies, roam freely around the park.

History:
Early years
The Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Sir Stamford Raffles with the aim of promoting the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. To this end ZSL London Zoo in Regents Park, London was established.

Almost 100 years later, Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (ZSL Secretary 1903-1935) was inspired by a visit to the Bronx Zoological Park to create a park in Britain as a conservation centre.

Hall Farm, a derelict farm on the Dunstable Downs, 30 mi (48 km) to the north of London was purchased by the Zoological Society of London in 1926 for £480 12s 10d. The site was fenced, roads built and trees planted.

The first animals arrived at the park in 1928, including two Lady Amherst's Pheasants, a Golden Pheasant and five red junglefowl. Others soon followed including muntjac, llama, wombats and skunks.

Whipsnade Park Zoo opened on Sunday 23 May 1931. It was the first open zoo in Europe to be easily accessible to the visiting public. It was an immediate success and received over 38,000 visitors on the following Monday. The Brown Bear enclosure is a surviving feature from the earliest days of the zoo.

The collection of animals was boosted in 1932 by the purchase of a collection from a defunct travelling menagerie and some of the larger animals walked to the zoo from Dunstable station.

World War II
During the Second World War the zoo acted as a refuge for animals evacuated from the Regents Park London Zoo. The celebrity Giant Pandas Ming, Sung and Tang were among these animals but were soon returned to London to boost morale in the capital. During 1940, 41 bombs fell on the park with little damage to the zoo structure, however a 3 year old giraffe named Boxer, which had been born at the zoo, was frightened to death by the explosions. Some of the ponds in the park are the remains of bomb craters from this period.

Recent developments
In 1996, a new elephant house and paddock was opened to replace the architecturally outstanding but cramped original elephant house designed by Lubetkin & Tecton in 1935. The old house remains at the zoo as a Grade II listed building and its associated enclosure contains the zoo's lemurs.

In the early 2000s the zoo added a number of new exhibits including Lions of the Serengeti in 2005, a walk-through lemur enclosure in 2007 (officially opened on 28 March 2007 by Dominic Byrne from The Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1, who is a regular visitor to the park), the Rhinos of Nepal exhibit in February 2007, Cheetah Rock on Easter 2008, a sloth bear exhibit in May 2008, and Wild Wild Whipsnade in May 2009. In July 2008, the Cafe on the Lake was reopened after remodeling, with its name changed to the Wild Bite Cafe.

In May 2009, William Windsor (known as Billy), a goat mascot of the British Army's Royal Welsh regiment, retired to the Zoo after eight years' distinguished service performing ceremonial duties.'

Zoo Website address: [Web Link]

Admission Cost: 20.00 (listed in local currency)

Visit Instructions:
Please tell us a story about your visit to the zoo and the date of your visit. Additional photos, especially animals, are appreciated, but not required.
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