FROM a small public park that opened in 1904 with an odd mix of animals - including a male lion, a female leopard and a male baboon - the Johannesburg Zoo has grown to become the most popular public venue in the city.
It is now a sprawling 54 hectares in central Parktown, with plenty of trees, water features and beautiful walks.
The stars of the show are, of course, the animals and the collection is impressive. There are lions, tigers, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, sable antelope, bat-eared foxes and polar bears among the 2 070 animals, representing 365 different species.
While its core business is the accommodation, enrichment, husbandry and medical care of wild animals, the Johannesburg Zoo also offers a variety of educational and entertainment programmes.