The History of the Taipei Zoo
The history of the Taipei Zoo can be traced back over 90 years. In 1914, when Taiwan was still under Japanese sovereignty, a Japanese man surnamed Oe established a private zoological garden in Yuan-shan in the northern suburbs of Taipei City. The Japanese Government in Taiwan purchased the property the following year and transformed it into a public park. Following World War II in 1946, the Taipei Zoo was formally taken over by the Taipei City Government. In 1970, the amusement park adjacent to the zoo was consolidated into a 5.8-hectare park, providing entertainment and education for several generations of children and adults.
With the increase of social awareness concerning natural conservation and environmental education, the Taipei Zoo, well-equipped with expertise regarding animal care and the knowledge of natural history, has committed itself to serving as a leader in environmental education and wildlife conservation. The original site of the zoo was constrained by its limited area, and a plan to build a modern zoo for Taipei was undertaken in 1973.
After thirteen years of planning and construction, the former zoo was officially closed on August 15, 1986, which marked the end of the Yuan-shan era. The new zoo, located in the Muzha district in the southern part of Taipei, held its grand opening on New Year's Day the following year.
The four main functions of the Taipei Zoo are conservation, education, research and recreation. More than four million visitors attend the Zoo on an annual basis; it has also hosted several international conferences on conservation-related topics. In addition, Taipei Zoo has planned and executed several city-wide educational activities pertaining to wildlife conservation themes over the years.
Present and future
The Zoo’s combined area is 165 hectares, with 90 hectares being open to the public. The facilities comprise exhibition buildings (the Education Center, the Penguin House, the Koala House, the Amphibian and Reptile House and the Insectarium), as well as exhibition areas (the Formosan Animal Area, the Children's Zoo, the Asian Tropical Rainforest Animal Area, the Desert Animal Area, the Australian Animal Area, the African Animal Area, Bird World and the Temperate Zone Animal Area). There is also an outdoor nature observation area, a wetland park, and a special exhibit house.