The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 17 Marylebone, Regent's Park, Zoological Gardens

Zoological Gardens 2

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The FEEDING TIMES of the animals are as follows: Penguins at 12, pelicans at 2.30, polar bears at 3, divingbirds at 3.15, eagles at 3.30, lions and tigers at 4 (in winter, November-February, at 3), sea-lions at 4.30 (winter 3.30), reptiles on Fridays one hour before closing time. The interest of a visit to the Zoo is, of course, enhanced by establishing tactful relations with the keepers (so far as their duties will allow), and though food suitable for the animals is sold at the refreshment-bars, visitors will secure more amusement if they bring more tempting supplies with them. For the apes, monkeys, birds, and small animals soft fruit is recommended (cherries, currants, plums, tomatoes, grapes, bananas); young green peas, French beans, and young lettuces are welcomed. Bears like carrots, fruit, and especially anything sweet, such as honey, golden syrup, or sweetened condensed milk (the keepers will assist in feeding). A coati is amusing if given scent on a small wisp of cotton-wool. The mongoose loves eggs. Lemurs, New World monkeys, and birds greedily accept meal-worms (obtainable at any bird-fancier's). Pheasants (in plumage in February and March) like raisins. In the following directions only the more popular exhibits are mentioned. From the Main Entrance, in the SOUTH GARDEN, we may digress to the left to see the pelicans, if it happens to be feeding-time (2.30 p.m.). Otherwise we take the main path, noticing (left) the orangutan ('Sandy') and mandrill ('George') in cages at the entrance to the monkey-house. Opposite is the entrance to the 'AQUARIUM, one of the best equipped in the world, built in 1922-24 (admission 1/, Mon. 6d., children always 6d.). It contains fresh-water, marine, and tropical sections, with an elaborate system of water and air circulation; the tanks are lighted while the corridors are dark. Among exhibits that for beauty and interest should not be overlooked are coral fish, angel fish, the various cichlids, the grotesque John dories, king-crabs, and the inhabitants of the large sea-water tanks. Opposite the Aquarium is the New Reptile House, which will contain the crocodiles, alligators, geckos, salamanders, monitors, pythons, boas, vipers, etc., previously shown in House 48. One of the smaller exhibits was the chameleon (feeding interesting). The white cobra is probably unique. The keeper may perhaps allow the visitor to make closer acquaintance with the king snake, boa, and other harmless snakes.