September 1, 1830
The Dublin Zoo opened on this day in 1830. Then a private society, it was founded by anatomists and physicists, and was financially supported by wealthy subscribers. In 1840, the society began opening its gates to the public on Sundays, for a one penny entrance fee. By this time, the zoo held 72 birds and 46 mammals; all of which had been donated by the London Zoo. Today, the Dublin Zoo is 28 hectares, and funds a variety of conservation projects of which great apes, tigers, rhinos, golden lion tamarins, African wild dogs, eagles and amphibians have been recipients. It attracts approximately 1 million visitors a year, officially making it Ireland’s biggest family attraction.