London Zoo is one of London’s most family friendly attractions. With daily animal shows and over 17,000 animals at the zoo (758 different species!) there is plenty to be entertained with from morning til noon. Nestled in the green Regents Park in central London, it’s a great day out for the kids. From the Tiger Territory to live feedings, you can plan your visit to a T.
We wanted to find out more, so we decided to get some insiders info from Teague Stubbington, an experienced zoo keeper and die-hard animal lover, to tell us more about London’s animal sanctuary.
How long have you been working at the zoo?
I’ve been working at the zoo for 17 years as a zoo keeper, however, most zookeepers like myself start out as a volunteer first. It’s easy to lose track of time here; one of our keepers has been working here for 51 years!
It must be one of those jobs where you get a high amount of satisfaction?
Absolutely, it is definitely not a job we take for money, it is a job you do because you love it. On my way to work every day I am always thinking about my animals, thinking about the new things we can try and the work that I am going to do. I haven’t had a day yet where I’ve not wanted to come to work.
What is the greatest thing about working in London Zoo?
There are so many things which are absolutely amazing about working at London Zoo and I get so much personal reward from working with animals; the amount that you get back from them is great. One of the other things that really makes a difference for me is how much of a contribution we make towards conservation. For example, thanks to zoos like us there are far more tigers that exist in the world now than there were, or than there ever would be without our help.
What is the most important thing that visitors can take away from their visit of London Zoo?
There is so much for visitors to learn and the key thing is that they become inspired themselves. By seeing the animals here and seeing the work we do there are so many things that people can choose to do at home and in their lives that will help animal conservation.
What can people do to get involved and help animals?
When it comes to helping penguins, for example, one thing we can do is make sure any fish that we buy to eat has been certified by the main stewardship council. Look for the LSE symbol on the packaging to ensure you’re eating fish from sustainable sources.
What’s your favourite animal in London Zoo?
I’ve worked with animals for a long, long time and I’ve got some favourites in the zoo. For me, every animal has its own personality and I’ve got to know them quite well and I feel a kinship with some, so to speak. One of our female gorillas I’ve known for nearly 20 years, so she’s definitely one of the animals that I have a close relationship with – and not surprisingly is one of my favourites.
You must get visitors from all over the world?
We do. A lot of our visitors are young families and we’re seeing more and more international people, as well. Last year we had nearly 1,300,000 visitors to the zoo! We are a part of London and everybody who comes to London wants to see us, too.