A Short History of the Beijing Zoo
The land on which the Beijing Zoo sits has always been a beautiful site. In fact, it is so attractive that it was set aside by noblemen and emperors to be used as parks on their estate. In 1906, however, the land was converted into an experimental farm and zoo, which was called the Garden of Ten Thousand Animals.
The zoo opened to the public for the first time in 1908. Unfortunately, it suffered greatly in periods of war and unrest, and by 1937, most of the animals had died. After 1949, the zoo was rebuilt and was again opened to the public in 1950. It was later given the simple but descriptive name, The Beijing Zoo, in 1955.
The Animals of the Zoo
One of the most famous and expansive zoos in the world, the Beijing Zoo has come a very long way from its days of suffering and neglect. It covers over 50,000 square meters and includes habitats that imitate China, Africa, North and South America, Europe, and India.
Inside these numerous habitats, visitors will find over 7,000 animals that are representatives of over 600 different species. These include several species of bears, lions, tigers, zebras, many different sorts of birds, yaks, hippopotamuses, giraffes, gorillas, elephants, rhinoceroses, antelope, wild oxen, kangaroos, gibbons, chimpanzees and monkeys. The zoo also has a reptile hall, which houses different many types of reptiles, including sea turtles, pythons, and crocodiles. The zoo is especially famous for its collection of native Chinese animals, however, especially the giant panda, the red panda, the golden monkey, Pere David's deer, and the red-crowned crane.