Environmental animal exhibits

Many of our animal exhibits are built and run in ingenious ways that make them much less wasteful, minimising their environmental impact and their cost. We are developing new ideas all the time, such as a new rainwater harvesting system.

Indian high street inside Land of the Lions
Indian high street inside Land of the Lions

Here are some of the ingenious ideas that have been put into practice to make our animal enclosures eco-friendly:

ZSL London Zoo

  • In Land of the Lions, we have re-used or refurbished existing buildings where possible instead of new constructions and we have re-used materials from other buildings and exhibits, including using spare railway stock from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to re-create the Sasan Gir railway station. We have used only FSC approved timber and we have reduced the overall energy consumption of the exhibit by 20%. 
  • In Gorilla Kingdom, the environment has been built using only sustainable materials, such as FSC wood and bamboo instead of steel.
  • In Penguin Beach, the exhibit was built using only FSC wood and the concrete needed was reduced by 50% by utilising waste materials. The water use when running the exhibit is reduced by refilling less often and our explainers have even been telling our visitors all about MSC fish.
  • In the Clore Rainforest Exhibit, the ceiling was built using insulating layer that UV can penetrate, to use the sun to heat the interior and reduce energy use. We also use sustainable plants and compostable banners in the exhibit.

Penguin beach
Penguin beach at ZSL London Zoo

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

  • In our Hullabazoo play area we have used floor tiles produced by Interface Carpets, our partners in the Net-Works project, which recycles discarded fish nets.
  • Our new visitor centre has achieved an A Rating under BREEAM (the world's leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings).

Whipsnade Visitor Centre - outside view
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo visitor centre