OUT AND ABOUT: It’s National Zoo Day and as my grandfather was a lion tamer, with a tiger’s claw scar across his back, I feel it’s my duty to urge you all to get down to London Zoo this week end (or sometime soon). Zoos may court controversy but personally I think our North London one is world class and deserves our support for their passionate interest in the world’s diverse animal life.
As a child most of us locals would have visited at least once and will have happy memories of our day out. The bronze statue of Guy the Gorilla always brings a smile to my face when I think of the one and only, original Guy.
The penguin pool was another great pleasure I looked forward to – I didn’t know this was partly due to the amazing architecture of Berthold Lubetkin (he of Highpoint, Highgate fame).
Perhaps unusually for a child I wasn’t so keen on the obvious big beasts but really loved the aquariums and darkened rooms where the creatures of the night hung out.
Obviously, given my background, I did enjoy the big cats and, from this month, for a limited period, anyone can spend the night with them in lodges in beautifully decorated lodges inspired by the welcoming charm of hotels in the lions’ native Gir Forest home in India. This would make an amazing special gift I think: https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/gir-lion-lodge
Whatever you’re doing this weekend I hope you enjoy it.