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History

Keepers posing for photoBristol Zoo Gardens was founded in 1835 by a group of eminent local citizens and opened to the public in 1836. That made 2011 our 175th year! To celebrate this, as well as looking ahead to the future we are also looking back through the last 175 years worth of history and achievements to offer more insights into the past of Bristol Zoo.

We have photos, videos, stories and more from the last 175 years on this section of the site. We also have a detailed history of Bristol Zoo starting with part 1 - the founding sharehlders of Bristol Zoo available to read by clicking here

 

 

An illustrated history of Bristol Zoo Gardens

Our new book - 'An illustrated history of Bristol Zoo Gardens' is now available to buy from our gift shop and online. Featuring photos and memories from our 175 year history, it's a must have for any Bristol Zoo fans!

Historical photos

We have a selection of photos to view online from throughout our history at the links below (all open in new window). These photos will feature alongside many others in our history book - 'An illustrated history of Bristol Zoo Gardens' which is available to buy from our website and gift shop.

1800s photos

Photos of camel rides and a fete at Bristol Zoo in the 1800s. View 1800s photos online

1900-1920 photos

Images including a keeper with a Boa constrictor between 1900 and 1920. View 1900-1920 photos online

1920-1940 photos

Including photos of Alfred the gorilla between 1920 and 1940. View 1920-1940 photos online

1940-1960 photos

Photos from the 1940s and 50s featuring Alfred the gorilla and the polar bear enclosure. View 1940-1960 photos online

1960-1980 photos

Images of Wendy the elephant and Johnny Morris from between 1960 and 1980. View 1960-1980 photos online

1980-2000 photos

Photos from 1980-2000 including Sasha the sea lion. View 1980-2000 photos online

Historical videos

Historical footage of Bristol Zoo

Footage of Bristol Zoo from 1948 onwards.

Footage from the Bristol Zoo archives

Senior Curator of Animals at Bristol Zoo - John Partridge takes a look in the Bristol Zoo archives.

Watch more videos on our Bristol Zoo TV page or our Youtube channel.