Dublin Zoo

The first European zoo was opened in Austria in 1765. The Zoological Society of Dublin was founded in 1830 with animals supplied by London Zoo.

The Dublin Zoo of the 1830s was nothing like it is today. Its purpose was to show as many different kinds of animals as possible to people who had never seen anything like it. Dublin Zoo has had a long and fascinating history - here are just some highlights from the first hundred years.

In 1833 the entrance lodge to the Zoo was built for £30.00!
In 1838 to celebrate Queen Victoria's coronation the zoo held an open day - 20,000 people visited, which is still the highest number of visitors in one day.

In 1844 the zoo received its first giraffe and in 1855 bought its first pair of lions. These bred for the first time in 1857. Reptiles got their own house in 1876 and people finally got somewhere to sit and have a cup of tea when the first tearooms were built in 1898.

Times of trouble and war also caused problems for the Zoo. During the Easter Rising of 1916 getting out of Phoenix Park became difficult and meat ran out. In order to keep the lions and tigers alive, some of the other animals in the zoo were killed!
During World War II, coal was hard to come by so older trees were cut down and used to heat the tropical houses.
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