From the 1200s to 1835, the Tower housed a menagerie of exotic wild animals, never before seen in London, including lions and a polar bear given as royal gifts.
What animals were kept at the Tower of London?
Explore the tales of the many exotic animals kept at the Tower, from lions, tigers, monkeys and elephants, to zebras, alligators, bears and kangaroos, in the Royal Beasts exhibition at the Tower of London.
Who opened the first zoo?
The first real zoo was established by Queen Hatshepsut in 1500 B.C. in Egypt by collecting animals from all over Africa. Later, Emperor Wen Wang of China built a zoo to show his wealth and power. Spread over 1,500 acres, it had animals from all over his empire and was named the Garden of Intelligence.
What animals live alongside the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London?
But treasures and traitors weren’t the only things locked behind those fifteen-foot thick stone walls. For about 600 years the Tower was home to the Royal Menagerie: Lions, tigers, bears, kangaroos, and many other animals lived there. Kings and queens have been giving each other exotic animals for ages.
Did King Henry VII have a lion?
Henry VII gave his wife, Elizabeth of York, a lion as a gift. I wonder what she thought of it. In 1826, 150 of the menagerie’s animals were rehomed at Regent’s Park, founding London Zoo, and the rest were rehomed when the menagerie closed in 1835.