Sofia Zoo

Sofia Zoo

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Sofia Zoo

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Sofia Zoo in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, was founded by royal decree on 1 May 1888, and is Bulgaria's oldest and largest zoological garden. It covers and, as of March 2006, housed 1,113 animals representing 244 species.


Initially, the zoo was located in the park of the former royal palace, with the primary attraction being a Eurasian Black Vulture caught in Bulgaria and exhibited in a cage in the garden. Later, pheasants and deer were added to the collection, but since the exhibits and facilities of the time proved inadequate to accommodate a pair of Brown Bears, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria ordered a grant of land to be awarded to Sofia Zoo on the grounds of the former botanical garden, then in the outskirts of the city.

Sofia Zoo's exhibition of animals constantly increased, with both local and foreign species being added. Most notably a pair of lions in 1892, which were housed in a former stable and a lion cub was born the same year.

Between 1893 and 1895, new cages and buildings were constructed to accommodate the ever increasing collection of birds and mammals, including a solid three-room stone building in the back of the terrain designed to be inhabited by bears (1894), a pool where a few Pink-backed Pelicans lived, a building to accommodate pheasants and another one for eagles (1895).

Sofia Zoo moved from its original (and smaller)...
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