This Day in History: 1828-04-27
London Zoo opened on this day. In 1826 Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, set up the Zoological Society of London in Regent’s Park and made plans to build the world’s first scientific zoo for ‘teaching and elucidating zoology’.The zoo, originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study, opened for the first time to members of the Zoological Society of London only, providing access to species such as Arabian oryx, greater kudus, orangutan and the now extinct quagga and thylacine. It was eventually opened to the wider public in 1847.
The world’s first reptile house opened in 1849, followed by the world’s first public aquarium, as an Aquatic Vivarium, in1853. After Philip Henry Gosse popularised the word aquarium, a term that he had coined, London Zoo took up the phrase that we now know.