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Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo opened its doors on September 1, 1830. Founded as a private society by anatomists and physicists and supported by wealthy subscribers.

In 1840, featuring 46 mammals and 72 birds donated by London Zoo, the radical decision was to throw its gates open to the public for a penny on Sundays. This gesture, remarkable for that time, established the affectionate relationship that still exists between Dubliners and the ‘ah-Zoo’ in the Phoenix Park.

Now, utterly transformed, Dublin Zoo’s 28 hectares is attracting almost 1 million visitors a year. Officially Ireland’s biggest family attraction, not only offers a great day out for all, but also a journey of learning and discovery about the world’s precious wildlife.  

Animals at Dublin Zoo live enriched lives in natural social groups, they are fit and healthy, able to breed and raise their own young. They can be observed in naturalistic spaces with vegetation, substrate and water features that reflects their native habitat.

Dublin Zoo is managed by caring zoo professionals who devote their lives to the welfare and care of animals and to understanding their needs. They are knowledgeable about the natural habitat of the animals, diet, genetics, animal health and social grouping.

Modern Zoos, like Dublin, adhere to strict codes of practice in animal welfare laid down by European and Global Associations.

Through such organisations, partnerships among Zoo’s and other kindred institutions, agencies and individuals are encouraged. This in turn leads to opportunities for co-operative research in conservation, biological and veterinary sciences.

By supporting specific research staff, collaborative partnerships with universities and regular publications, symposia and workshops they constantly develop knowledge, understanding and expertise.

Dublin Zoo financially supports a variety of conservation projects of which great apes, tigers, rhinos, golden lion tamarins, African wild dogs, eagles and amphibians have been recipients.  

There's something for all the family at Dublin Zoo. You can attend keeper talks and attend animal feeding times. If watching the animals eating makes you hungry then you can visit the unique Meerkat Restaurant or one of the cafes or kiosks around the zoo. There are also some play areas for the younger children.