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Kiev Zoo was founded in 1908 by the Nature Lovers Society and financed by private donations. At the beginning the zoo experienced difficult times and could not boast a great amount of animals: there were just 17 kinds. The first winter the animals had to spend in the food department of the main Kiev railway, as the zoo founders did not find a shelter for the animals they possessed. For a short time the zoo inhabitants lived in the University Botanical Garden, but each month the quantity of animals was increasing, there were not enough space for all of them, and sometimes some of them frightened the university students and professors. Only 4 years after the zoo foundation it was given a relatively large area on the outskirts of the city. In 1913 the animals celebrated the house-warming. In 1914 the zoo greeted its first guests, but the Civil War and the World War I put obstacles in the way of the zoo development. Only in the 20s the zoo was reborn. During the World War II the territory of the zoo was occupied by German military garrison, as for majority of animals, they were evacuated beforehand. After the end of the war the animals were returned to Kiev, all the cages were restored and renovated. The birds pavilion, open in 1970, was considered to be the largest in Europe. In 1982 the guests to Kiev Zoo could see the animals island, which was separated from the rest of the zoo by wide ravines and housed tigers and lions. In 1996 Kiev Zoo was included in European association of zoos and aquariums.

Nowadays the zoo is located in the center of the city and occupies the territory of 40 hectares. The landscape relief allows all the zoo inhabitants live in comfortable conditions. The collection of Kiev Zoo numbers over 2,000 fauna representatives from all over the world, including mammals, birds, snakes, fishes and insects. The zoo boasts a pair of elephants. Over 130 kinds of trees and bushes decorate the zoo lands.

Kiev Zoo also serves as a scientific research center, where the specialists work on acclimatization of the far lands animals, preserving and reproduction of rare animals, such as Amur tiger, bison, Przhevalsky horse and some others.

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