We are featuring `penguins' as our seasonal `artefact' during the two months of December 2013 and January 2014.
The first live penguin at ZSL London Zoo, or indeed the first at a UK zoo, was a King Penguin from the Falkland Islands. The penguin arrived in 1865. According to the annual report for that year it was `skilfully conveyed to this country by Commander Fenwick, of H.M.S. 'Harrier'...this strange looking bird attracted universal attention'. In the V&A's collections there is a wonderful cartoon by Ernest Griset of the penguin surrounded by artists trying to depict this unusual creature. The cartoon is reproduced in Lionel Lambourne's book Ernest Griset : fantasies of a Victorian illustrator.
Other species of penguin arriving at ZSL London Zoo in the nineteenth century were rock hopper penguin in 1873 and then gentoo penguin in 1874. These were followed by jackass in 1882, blue in 1887 and yellow-crested in 1891.
One of the oldest books in ZSL Library is Belon's L'histoire nature des oyseaux, 1555. Although it does not include an image of a penguin our copy has a later image of penguin from 1769 stuck into the book!
Ernest Griset : fantasies of a Victorian illustrator / Lionel Lambourne, London : Thames & Hudson, 1979
Penguin / Stephen Martin, London : Reaktion Books, 2009.
Report of the Council of the Zoological Society of London, 1866, p. 20
These historic books form part of the `special collections' in ZSL Library, you are welcome to visit and consult/view them but an appointment is necessary falsefalsePlease email email@example.com or telephone 020 447 6293 to make an appointment.
Many resources are available in ZSL Library and no appointment is necessary to use these, however if you are a ZSL member please bring your membership card. Non-members will need proof of address and photographic ID if you are not already a member of ZSL.
Select a blog
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
Follow the latest news on ZSL’s Arts & Culture projects at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, and ZSL’s conservation work through the lense of the Arts.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL’s amphibian experts in their quest to find out why 41% of the world’s amphibians are threatened and what can be done to stop more species becoming extinct.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.