Dublin Zoo - Phoenix Park

Dublin Zoo was established in 1832 and is the oldest in Europe, our other claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of the famous MGM lion who growled menacingly at the start of all the old black and white films. A favourite of generations of Dubliners who grew up with the ‘Zoological Gardeners’ being the eternal option for a family day out on your first communion or as a school tour. Our childhood innocence reflected the general naivety at the time of keeping exotic wild animals caged in such cramped conditions. Like all Zoos throughout the world it has undergone major changes to enhance what was with hindsight a totally unnatural environment for many animals. Let’s face it, if you hail from the scorching heat of Africa you are not exactly going to relish the Irish winters!

Siberian Tiger Dublin Zoo

All joking aside, there will always be arguments for and against zoos? Can you really simulate the African plains? Is breeding in captivity the only way to go to ensure the survival of endangered species? These of course are universal questions not unique to Dublin Zoo. And yet it’s hard to argue convincingly with the wide eyed wonder and delight of children (of all ages) getting up close and personal with these animals. Whether it’s a primeval need on our behalf to connect or a mutual curiosity? it still rightly or wrongly beats the hell out of any virtual experience. And perhaps nurtures an interest in and appreciation of all creatures which can't be bad.....

Me & my family at Dublin Zoo circa the 60's

Breaking News... the latest arrival born on April 1st at Dublin Zoo is a baby gorilla as yet un-named? it looks scarily human?

For more information on Dublin Zoo please click here

10 Other Things To Do and See in the area are....

1 Phoenix Park Visitor Centre tells you all about the flora, fauna and history of the park which is the largest enclosed park (1752 acres) in Europe.

2 Victorian Kitchen Garden adjacent is relatively new and proving to be very popular with the renewed interest in vegetable growing.

3 Aras an Uachtaran a limited amount of free tickets are allocated each saturday for a tour of the staterooms of the President of Irelands home.

4 Farmleigh House another official building used for entertaining visiting dignitaries and royalty which you can tour for most days for free, nice boat house cafe, garden and gallery.

5 The Furry Glen where some 450 deer roam, also the Wellington Monument and the Popes Cross all very familiar landmarks to Dubliners.

6 Victorian Tearooms (beside the Zoo) overlooking the bandstand (free concerts in the summer) in 'The Hollow’ with a playground.

7 The People’s Garden a park within the park and a homage to the Victorian style of planting with lots of formal bedding arrangements, old fashioned but charming.

8 Polo and Cricket (we are big into cricket with our recent victory over England) can be watched during the summer months.

9 Hire Bicycles at the Park Gates and follow any of the 15kms of safe cycle ways / family / nature trails within the Park.

10 The Gardens of the Remembrance outside the Park, just across the River Liffey dedicated to our war heroes.

For more Things to See and Do in Dublin please click here