Perth Zoo

Perth Zoo is one of the world’s leading conservation zoos, supporting local, regional and international projects designed to conserve species in the wild

Perth Zoo has three main zones – Australian Walkabout, Asian Rainforest and African Savannah – with a few minor exhibit areas (Lesser Primates, South American birds, Main Lake, Galapagos Tortoises).

All exhibits are designed to mimic the animals’ natural habitats and utilise passive barriers where possible

Perth Zoo

Perth Zoo


Perth Zoo was opened on 17 October 1898 by the Governor of Western Australia, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Gerard Smith. Planning for the zoo had started in 1896 when the Western Australian Acclimatization Committee first met, the original purpose of which was to introduce European animals to Australia and establish a zoo. In 1897 this group invited the director of the Melbourne Zoo, Albert Le Souef, to choose a site. His son Ernest was chosen as the first director of the Perth Zoo, and work began in 1897.

The first exhibits built included two bear caves, a monkey house, a mammal house and a model castle for guinea pigs. The first animals on display included an orangutan, two monkeys, four ostriches, a pair of lions, and a tiger. At first there were only six staff members. The zoo had 53,000 visitors in its first nine months, and has not been closed for a single day since it was opened.

From the start Ernest Le Souef worked to create a botanical collection as well as an animal collection. Work on the gardens started as soon as the site was chosen. Since the site was mostly sand and lacked nutrients and water, loads of manure needed to be brought in, and a well was bored in 1898 to allow irrigation

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- Metro Hotel Perth Pauline, August 21, 2015