About the Zoological Society of London

ZSL Rhino banner

Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.

Our mission is realised through our groundbreaking science, our active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and our two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

ZSL Vision

A world where animals are valued, and their conservation assured.

ZSL Mission

To promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is reinforced through our organisational strapline 'Let's Work for Wildlife'.

Find out more about ZSL:

Royal Patrons

  • HM The Queen is The Patron of ZSL
  • HRH The Prince of Wales is The Vice Patron of ZSL

ZSL is registered as a charity in England and Wales: no.208728.

ZSL Strategic Aims

ZSL is committed to promoting zoological and conservation research, encouraging public engagement with wildlife and generating funds for the advancement of the ZSL Mission.

To better understand the ZSL goals, you can read our strategic aims in full here.


ZSL is a member of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums), the professional organisation representing the zoo and aquarium community.

BIAZA is a conservation, education and scientific wildlife charity founded in 1966 out of a mutual desire within the zoo and aquarium community to see sound principles and practices of animal management widely adopted in the British Isles and Ireland. Find out more about: BIAZA

Asiatic Lions

ZSL's campaign to secure the future of the majestic Asiatic lion, which clings to survival in only one isolated Indian forest

Guiding Principles

ZSL - Let's Work For Wildlife

Respecting and valuing animals and the natural world

Our belief is that a diverse and healthy natural world is valuable in its own right and is essential for ensuring secure and healthy lives for people. This motivates ZSL’s vision and mission, and our other core values follow from this.

Inspiring conservation action

By actively 'Working for Wildlife' and showcasing our efforts in the field, we hope to motivate others to take conservation action in their daily lives.

Achieving excellence in our field

Building on our heritage, Royal Patronage since 1831 and reputation as a learned society, we aim to be an authoritative source of information and good practice for the scientific study, conservation and husbandry of animals.

We aim also to make efficient and effective use of available resources to achieve the highest possible standards in everything we do, in the operation of a successful and innovative conservation organisation.

Acting ethically, responsibly and sustainably

We aim to operate in fair and justifiable ways that do not conflict with our mission or objectives, and which respect the environment.

Valuing everyone we work with

We support and value teamwork and collaboration, strive for fair and equitable treatment of everyone with whom we work and come into contact with, and aim to act with respect and courtesy in all our dealings.

Working for ZSL

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to conservation and education, the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats being the key role of the organisation.

Our scientists in the laboratory and field, animal management teams at both zoos and our veterinarians contribute wide-ranging skills and experience to both practical conservation and the scientific research that underpins this work.

We are committed to the principle of equal opportunities in employment. We apply policies that are determined solely by job criteria and personal ability.

Learn more about working for ZSL

ZSL History

 Since Sir Stamford Raffles founded ZSL in 1826, there have been a number of achievements in our conservation work in the wild as well as at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Read more about ZSL's history.

Famous animals

Over the years ZSL has been home to many famous animals, including Guy the gorilla, Goldie the golden eagle and Winnie, who became one of the most famous bears in the world. Find out more about ZSL's Famous animals

ZSL architecture

When London Zoo opened in 1827, Decimus Burton was called on to lay out the grounds and house the animals. Many other leading architects have since contributed to the built environment of the Zoo, creating a collection of buildings that includes two Grade I and eight Grade II listed structures.

Read more about the ZSL's amazing architecture.

Sustainability at ZSL

From environmental animal exhibits to considerate retail and catering, find out more about ZSL and sustainability.

Sustainability at ZSL