The London Zoo is an expansive zoo with fantastic exhibits so if you’re looking to visit I recommend you start early to fully enjoy it all. With a great flowing layout it’s easy to ensure you’ll see everything.
Upon entrance we were faced with two of the oldest buildings at the zoo, the Aquarium with its variety of sea life from seahorses to ray, and the Reptile House, built in 1927, with its varied species with specific enclosures to represent each species’ habitat. Behind the Reptile House are two great exhibits. The first consists of a large yard with the iconic Galapagos tortoises, the largest living tortoise species in the world of which they have three. The oldest is Dirk who is 70 years old and weighs around 440 pounds (200kg). Every time I have the chance to see these amazing animals in person they continue to awe me with their massive bulk and relaxed pace. When we visited one of them came lumbering over to us, and looking in its eyes I felt like I was looking into the soul of a wise Buddha. The second exhibit replicates Indonesia’s lush vegetation and dry river bed with a panoramic view through more than 20 metres of dragon-proof glass where you come face to face with the largest living species of lizard in the world, at 3 metres long and 173 pounds (80kg), the Komodo dragon.
The London Zoo’s award-winning exhibit, Gorilla Kingdom is 6,000 square metres, with a large island that represents a clearing in Central Africa’s rainforest for their troop of Western lowland gorillas that has plants and herbs that the gorillas can munch on. Upon entering the exhibit you meet a variety of beautiful African birds as well as Diana monkeys. If the gorilla troop isn’t outside then they’re in their indoor enclosure that has a glass hallway for them to walk over top of visitors heads. On my visit the zoo’s silverback was laying up there, it was quite amusing to see a large black mass of gorilla directly above you. Here there are also indoor and outdoor enclosures for Eastern black and white colobus and mangabeys.
One experience I highly recommend while visiting the London Zoo is to make sure you make time to see their ‘Animals In Action’ show. This was my second time seeing the show that showcases various amazing animals and their natural amazing abilities. For this show the cast included a large vulture that swooped over the crowd effortlessly, a curious coatimundi who was walking and climbing the ropes like an expert tightrope walker, a green-winged macaw who showed off his colourful wings in flight as well as his strong talons to hang upside down like a bat and strong beak to climb with, but there was one star who stole the show. Queue the Predator music and enter stage right the shows predator…a wee burrowing owl, no more than 9″ tall, but the way they introduced him and then what came out was hilarious. They even got him to show off how he would try to scare off a predator, which was to spread his little wings, open his tiny beak and run across the stage. I’m sorry, but it was too funny, I hope that works better for predators than it looked. The show was fun and entertaining while also providing guest with interesting information about these amazing animals.