Although for most of their history, zoos have played a questionable role in our perception and appreciation of the world’s wild life, over the last 20 to 30 years, they have assumed an increasingly important part in the conservation of rare and endangered species.

Chester Zoo, for instance, is home to the few remaining Newcastle United footballers who aren’t French, while Battersea Park Children’s Zoo has an extremely successful breeding programme for corrupt dictators of former soviet states.

Almost 90% of the people who have never appeared on Escape to the Country are now housed in a small enclosure at Whipsnade – along with the 63 pensioners from Rochdale not in fuel poverty in 2014 – and following a decade-long reintroduction programme co-ordinated by Newquay Zoo, large groups of native ramblers with distinctive plastic covered maps can now be found roaming free throughout the UK.


London Zoo has tried to breed from its great white panda (Ailuropoda Borisii) but to date, the resulting offspring have so frightened the penguins that they have had to be humanely destroyed.