This four-page Prospectus was written in March 1825 to encourage people to join the proposed Zoological Society.
It states that the Society would have “a collection of living animals such as never yet existed in ancient or modern times”, a Museum, and a Library.
The Prospectus calls the lack of such a Society and menagerie as: “this opprobrium to our age and nation”.
The press reaction to the Prospectus appears to have been mixed. The Literary Gazette wrote about the proposed Society: “We hear a great diversity of opinions upon it. Those friendly to it re-echo the language of the Prospectus – declare it to be worthy of an enlightened country – and anticipate wonderful improvements from its being carried into effect; while those of an opposite way of thinking laugh at it as a wild speculation… attempting to make an Ark in London…”
Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir Humphry Davy managed to attract enough well-wishers and ZSL was officially founded a year later in 1826. It opened ZSL London Zoo in 1828. The sceptics were proved wrong and ZSL is now celebrating its 180th anniversary this year.
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.