11/07/2018

Bumper year for Bristol Zoo as it celebrates 182 years

​As Bristol Zoo celebrates its 182nd birthday today archive images featuring Wendy the elephant and kangaroos who resided in the 80s, have been shared.

The Zoo, which opened its gates to visitors in 1836, has welcomed around 600,000 visitors to its 12-acre site in the Clifton suburb of Bristol in the past year.

And today, the fifth oldest Zoo in the world is an important centre for conservation and research. 


During its 182nd year the Zoo celebrated many conservation successes, including a world-first hatching of thousands of Desertas wolf spiderlings in the Zoo’s Bug World.

The hatchings are a huge boost for the species, which is only found in one valley on one of the Desertas islands, near Madeira, Portugal. There is thought to be a single population of just 4,000 adult spiders left in the wild – an alarmingly small number for an entire invertebrate species.

Another recent success also includes the discovery of a group of Kordofan giraffe on camera in Cameroon – proving that the Endangered population, believed to be as few as 2000 living in one of Africa’s most hostile regions, is still breeding.

And next month Bristol Zoological Society, which owns Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project, will welcome a new CEO when Dr Bryan Carroll retires after 22 years at the attraction.

Dr Justin Morris, a 44-year-old archaeologist, who has previously held senior posts at the British Museum and at the Natural History Museum in London, explained that the Zoo had a very special place in the hearts of those who have visited and worked there.

He said: “Bristol Zoo is one of those iconic landmarks, iconic organisations and iconic visitor attractions. Everyone I have come across who has lived in Bristol or who has touched Bristol in some way has been to the Zoo.”

The Zoo also shares its birthday month with resident animals Cassidy the Northern pine snake, Omar the Egyptian tortoise, Matilda the Brazilian black tarantula, Black Star the dumbo rat, and meerkats, Daley and Ainslie.

Guests can visit the Zoo to celebrate its birthday everyday between 9:00am and 5:30pm throughout the summer. They can also attend many events taking place at the attraction, including the chance to visit the Zoo during the twilight hours. Check out our What's On page for more information. 

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