Located in Haidian district in West Beijing, the zoo was founded in 1906 and now housesÂ more thanÂ 600 different species, with an emphasis on animals native to China, including, of course the Giant Panda. Beijing Zoo is also a research centre and has had success breeding some of the world’s most endangered creatures. In addition to the main zoo, an ‘Ocean Zoo’ is now open within the grounds, and includes dolphin and sea lion shows as well as the more conventional aquarium style displays.
Originally an imperial park, the area is beautifully landscaped in the style of classical chinese gardens, incorporating streams, ponds and flower gardens, as well as the animal enclosures. Despite undergoing some hardship during the early part of the 20th century, following the foundation of the People’s Republic of China and the zoo’s subsequent refurbishment,Â the zooÂ has rapidly expanded and now includes a dazzling array of animals and habitats. Highlights include; pandas, Manchurian tigers, Tibetan yaks, monkeys, sea turtles and crocodiles, to name but a few.