Animals at London Zoo got into the royal spirit this week, after zookeepers put up red, white and blue bunting in preparation for the Coronation Weekend.
Critically endangered Western Lowland gorillas and Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys woke up at London Zoo to find their home transformed by the decorations in honour of the historic event, while Charlie the Humboldt penguin represented his namesake, King Charles III, on London Zoo’s iconic Penguin Beach.
Conservation zoos London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo are part of international conservation charity ZSL, whose vital work has been supported by the Royal Family since 1826, when it was first granted a Royal Charter by King George IV.
Since then, every monarch, including the late Queen Elizabeth II, has served as ZSL’s Royal Patron – inspiring support for nature by shining an important spotlight on the work of the conservation zoos and championing ZSL’s wider work protecting species and restoring ecosystems across the world.
King Charles III has been a supporter of ZSL since joining ZSL’s Exceptional Young Zoologist Club aged just 13: A life-long champion of wildlife, in his capacity as the Prince of Wales, His Majesty became ZSL’s Vice Patron in 2014.
From Saturday 6 – Monday 8 May, visitors to London Zoo can enjoy a jam-packed programme of Royal activities. Families can discover the Kings and Queens of the animal kingdom at lively animal talks, learning about a whole host of ‘royal’ animals, including Bhanu the Asiatic lion ‘king’ in Land of the Lions. The new area was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016, when the then-Monarch toured the immersive space and learnt about ZSL’s work protecting the Endangered species in India.
All additional Coronation activities at London Zoo are included with zoo entry and under 3s go for free at both zoos, making a ZSL conservation zoo a right royal day out for the whole family this Coronation weekend.