Auckland Zoo is Auckland City Council’s enterprise. It has an impressive collection of native species of New Zealand. Some of the wildlife species are exotic. Auckland zoo is home to 117 animal species. There are nearly 720 animals housed here. The zoo attracts nearly half a million tourists each year. The zoo is well known on the national and international stage. The zoo owes its popularity to the television program entitled The Zoo, which has won many awards.
Auckland zoo has a wonderful mission. The zoo’s focus lies in conservation. It aims to provide wonderful experiences to the tourists who throng the zoo. The zoo aims to inspire people in conservation of the wildlife and environment. Auckland Zoo is an active member of two associations: Zoo and Aquarium Association and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
A makeshift zoo was inaugurated in Onehunga, which is an Auckland Suburb. The year was 1912. John James Boyd was the owner of this land. It was he who created a private menagerie, comprising a tiger, panther, hyena, six lions, and numerous monkeys. The seeds of Auckland Zoo were sown here.
The inhabitants of Onehunga revolted against the zoo. During the course of the next few years, there was a plethora of complaints with regards to the safety issues. Other issues included smell, noise, and humungous crowds. The City Council of Auckland bought the animals in June 1922. In December of the same year, Auckland Zoo was thrown open to the public. The zoo occupied a predominant location in Western Springs.
The zoo had to face many challenges. One such challenge was to create a vast collection of species. The businessmen of the city received encouragement to obtain new species when they toured foreign countries. This greatly expanded the collection.
In the year 1956, a great emphasis was laid on entertainment. London Zoo was famous for its chimpanzee tea parties. Auckland zoo merely walked in its footsteps. In October 1956 four chimpanzees were brought to the zoo in order to please the crowds.
The chimpanzees were named Janie, Josie, Bobbie, and Minnie. They learnt their skills in London. They participated in the daily ritual of tea partying, which entertained massive crowds. Auckland zoo put an end to the practice in 1964. By this time, the public attitude to captive animals underwent a dramatic alteration.