Paignton Zoo







Paignton Zoo was originally a private collection founded by Herbert Whitley, an eccentric millionaire, around his house, Primley. He opened the grounds to the public in 1923, and when he died in 1955, a charity was set up to run the zoo as a botanical and animal park focused on education and conservation. The park is now the home to some of the most endangered animals and plants. The zoo has won many awards for its work including its charitable, environmental and sustainable resources.


The grounds are divided into zones: wetland; forest; tropical; desert and savannah, each with its own specialised plants and animals. The park is very large and contains hundreds of birds, dozens of monkeys, but sadly only one lonely elephant. There is a lot of walking involved in getting around to see everything, and the magnificent display of trees does tend to inhibit easy viewing of some animals as their paddocks are quite large.


The lakes and streams are a big feature, inhabited by Chilean Flamingoes, huge Dalmation Pelicans with ten foot wingspan, and many waterfowls, surrounding islands hosting troops of monkeys, gibbons, orang utans, and several gorillas who were very active, the old silver back chasing the all male group of young males around the paddock. I don't fully understand why it was an all male group? perhaps they are "monk" keys!


The big cat, Sumatran tigers and Asiatic lions, compounds were both a little disappointing, but then cats are prone to laying about, I don't think they are becoming extinct they are just laid about out of sight!  However the walkthrough aviary, large enough to house trees, home to free flying birds, is very interesting.



Britain Tour




King of the Jungle?


Two of a Kind


The Lone Elephant


A Barrel Load of Monkeys


Black Panda