The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visit ZSL London Zoo to open the Land of the Lions exhibit.
Land of the Lions will support a global breeding effort, helping to secure the future of Asiatic lions by working with Zoos all over the world to ensure the existence of a healthy population continues.
The Queen and The Duke toured the Zoo’s new Land of the Lions and spent time talking to staff about the interactive experiences the exhibit will have on offer to visitors.
Land of the Lions has been created to transport visitors from the heart of London to the vibrant setting of Sasan Gir in Gujarat, India - the last remaining stronghold of Asiatic lions – and bring visitors closer than ever to the big cats.
Her Majesty actually opened our previous lion enclosure 40 years ago, and it was an honour to have her return with The Duke in the year of her 90th birthday
Ralph Armond, Director of ZSL London Zoo
Covering an expanse of 2,500sqm (27,000sqft), visitors will enter Land of the Lions through a grand stone archway, pick up a ‘park pass’ at the Gir Tourist Information centre and explore Sasan Gir Train Station - where the odd lion might be spotted snoozing on the tracks – before being awed by the exhibit’s incredible centrepiece, a 360° Temple Clearing where the big cats will roam just metres away, separated only by fine wires.
The Queen has a long association with London Zoo, even visiting in 1938 with Princess Margaret. Her Majesty visited ZSL London Zoo in 1990 to inaugurate an elephant tracking project in Central Kenya and open the Lifewatch Centre, and in 1999 to open the Millennium Conservation centre. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh opened the Zoo's Tiger Territory in 2013 and Gorilla Kingdom in 2007.