Dublin zoo is not only the largest zoo in Ireland, it also has the distinction of being one of the oldest zoos in the world. Founded in 1830, as the Zoological Gardens Dublin, the zoo has changed quite a bit over the years. Once housing a few birds and mammals on loan from the London Zoo, the facility now boasts thousands of animals and several themed areas including several primate islands and a savannah that is home to the zoo's large African animals. As a part of the zoo, there is also a 70 acre wild life conservatory that actually works to breed endangered species from five continents. The wildlife preserve contains over 90 species of animals that all roam freely for the enjoyment of the guests.
Historically fascinating, the zoo uses many of its original structures to house animals and walking through the historic buildings is almost as interesting as studying the animals they contain. A stop at the sweets and ice cream shop is almost reminiscent of the days when families would enjoy a delicious delicacy at the zoo's tearooms before continuing their zoological adventures. A visit to the Dublin Zoo is more than just a tour of a menagerie of various animals. It provides and education on conservation and the prevention of animal extinction.