Zoo was established in 1830 when the Lord Lieutenant granted the Zoological
Society use of a portion of Phoenix Park for the purpose of creating a
The area for the Zoo was three and a half acres in extent with about four
acres of water on its boundary. The architect to London Zoo, Decimus Burton
prepared plans for Phoenix Park for a fee of £75. His plan called
for enclosing part of the neighbouring lake and the expansion into some
of the adjacent land. However, the plan was beyond the financial capacity
of the society to implement, and was used as a guide for later development.
In 1841 an admission price of a penny was introduced and more than 81,000
people each spent a penny in that year for entrance to the zoo.
In 1844, the zoo received its first giraffe and in 1855 it bought its
first pair of lions.
bred for the first time in 1857. Dublin Zoo has had some success with
the breeding of lions. In fact, from 1857 to 1965, some 593 cubs were
born in Dublin Zoo, more than in any other Zoo in the world.
got their own house in 1876 and the first tearooms for humans were built
There is a point of view, often forcefully expressed, that animals should
not be restrained in a zoo at all but should be allowed live their span
of life in their natural habitat. However, many zoos have become centres
for conservation, education and study.
Zoo holds the European studbooks for species including the Moluccan cockatoo
and the golden lion tamarin. The Zoo also sponsors field research to study
a group of tamarins that have been released back into protected habitats.
The zoo’s lakes provide a refuge for wildfowl, and in winter, more
than 500 wildfowl have been seen at close quarters from the public paths
that overlook the lakes.
By now, Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world.
1994, the Minister for Finance, Bertie Ahearn TD approved a massive £15
million (€19m) ten-year plan for the zoo.
African Plains opened on 1 June 2000. The new area allows animals of African
origin to roam somewhat more freely, though humans are protected from
the animals by fencing.
In 2005, two ageing
female Asian elephants named Judy and Kirsty, were moved to Neunkirchen
Zoo in Germany, leaving Dublin Zoo without an elephant to its name.
A new elephant facility was designed to be 50 per cent larger than the
older house and to incorporate a riverbed and a large pool for new elephants
which would include two pregnant female adults and a bull elephant to
continue a breeding programme.
more detail read
The comprehensive book on Dublin's own national park.
In the shops now
or order online here
the thing to get you in the mood for the Rolling Stones concert in August."
The Irish Times
of Phoenix Park a history and guidebook are a welcome addition
to your corporate or conference goodybags.
Nolan has reported on Phoenix Park as a freelance journalist for several
decades and was a professional observer at many of the events of the late
20th century related herein.
He was born in Chapelizod
in a house beside the churchyard of Le Fanu and counted Phoenix Park as
his personal rambling ground through his growing years and beyond.