Chessington Zoo is part of the Chessington World of Adventures which encompasses the Zoo, a Sea World-type experience, a theme park, and a complex of hotels to stay in. The Zoo itself was first opened in 1931 and is near to London, the capital of England. The theme park – Chessington World of Adventures – was created by the Tussauds Group in 1987 to complement the Zoo. It’s now owned by Merlin Entertainment who has pushed to create something more akin to a Disney-type resort experience with two hotels allowing guests to stay for longer.
About Chessington Zoo
The Chessington Zoo now houses over 1,000 different animals. It’s quite eclectic including sea lions, western lowland gorillas, and Sumatran tigers. Typically, the zoo is open during both the summer and winter (unlike the Theme park which is closed over winter).
The zoo is conveniently divided into multiple areas. These are the Children’s Zoo, Trail of the Kings, Amazu, Wanyama Village, Sealion Bay, and the Reserve which houses the Seal Life Centre too.
Many of the animals in the zoo fall under the endangered species category and a few are already extinct in the wild. Therefore, the zoo provides a protective environment for them to survive and flourish. Some of the exhibits change over time to make way for new ones. For instance, the Amazu Treetop Adventure replaced the Monkey & Bird garden which proceeded it. Therefore, people who have visited the zoo in years past will likely see new things this time.
Things to Do and See
There are different things to do at Chessington Zoo depending on what you’re most interested in.
Monkey Walk – The monkey walk area is a popular one with the kids to see these fascinating creatures without any risks. Monkeys are highly active, curious, and interactive with zoo visitors.
Children’s Zoo — The smaller zoo is for kids who are accompanied by their parents, and they can participate in feeding the small animals there. Mostly these are farm animals that are domesticated.
Feed the Giraffes – It’s possible to book a VIP Animal Experience which includes feeding the giraffes. Eager children (and possibly some adults too) can hold out green edibles to entice the giraffe to take a bite.
Asiatic Lion – A smaller lion compared to African lions, these were almost extinct before zoos and National Parks in India took it upon themselves to encourage their survival. Their large mane and equally impressive roar are a standout in the zoo.
Western Lowland Gorilla – The 8 gorillas are something of an attraction at the zoo, but they remain unamused by all the attention! They usually live in the rainforests of Central and Western Africa but recently have seen hunting cause them to become less common. They’re also more flexible than monkeys and can swing impressively from branch to branch.
Penguins – The Penguin Bay holds the Humboldt penguins. They’re fun to watch swimming or waddling around and are especially fascinating for small children. Their webbed feet and slim body help them to glide through the water almost effortlessly.
Chessington Zoo is a great adventure for all the family.