Perth Zoo

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The Perth Zoo is a 41-acre (17 ha) zoo that opened in 1898 in South Perth, Western Australia. As of January 2011, it is home to 1258 animals of 164 species and includes an extensive botanical collection.
In 2010/11, the zoo had a paid staff of about 248 (167 full time equivalents), plus about 300 volunteer docents. It is a full institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

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. The zoo included rose gardens, lupin fields, tropical plants, and palms. The original palm collection still stands and boasts over 60 species including Canary Island date palms that are now over 100-years-old. The zoo also grew crops for animals including lettuce, alfalfa, carrots, lucerne and onions. This tradition is still alive, with the zoo producing fodder including hibiscus, bamboo, Fijian fire plant and mirror plant.
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