Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

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Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.jpg
Entrance in 2014
Date opened1974 (1974)
LocationPershore Road
United Kingdom
Coordinates52°27′02″N 1°54′38″W / 52.450498°N 1.910430°W / 52.450498; -1.910430Coordinates: 52°27′02″N 1°54′38″W / 52.450498°N 1.910430°W / 52.450498; -1.910430
Land area6.5 acres (2.6 ha)
MembershipsBIAZA, [1] EAZA[2]
Major exhibitsRed Pandas, European Lynx, Lemur, Northern Bald Ibis, Utila iguana, Cotton Topped Tamarins
WebsiteBirmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, formerly Birmingham Nature Centre, and before that Birmingham Zoo, is a small zoo on the edge of Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, England. Owned and managed by Birmingham City Council.

As well as catering to tourists and locals, the zoo is actively focused in many scientific programs, such as involvement in the EEP captive breeding programmes with endangered animals, helping to highlight the plight of the world’s biodiversity through educational talks and campaigns.

The zoo is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).


Originally Birmingham Zoo opened within Cannon Hill Park on 1st of May 1964 by the Dudley Zoological Society Ltd. The site of the park was once part of a 16th century fulling mill, known as Pebble Mill.[3]

It was designed to exhibit mainly young animals, but it also housed Dudley Zoo's collection of monkeys and two dromedaries for rides.

Once said to be a little gem of a zoo.[4] The zoo closed in 1973 for unknown reasons to then be reopened in 1974 by Birmingham City Council as the Birmingham Nature Centre. The centre and its entrance were originally apart of the Birmingham Natural History Museum. A rebranding effort in 2014 seen nature centre change its name to Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park to reflect its new vision. [5]

Birmingham has had a number of Zoo’s formerly open across the city at some point, sadly with little known about them. The first zoo opened as the Birmingham and Midlands Zoological Gardens in Balsall Heath, opened in 1873. The second was Aston Lower Grounds Menagerie in Aston opened in 1880 and the last being Birmingham Zoo in 1910, later closed in 1930. There was also said to be a travelling menagerie, going by the name of J. E. James's Menagerie.[6]


The zoo features mainly small mammals. Its occupants include:

Red pandas[edit]

A red panda at the centre

The nature centre used to have a pair of male red pandas. However these have been re-housed as part of the national breeding program. Ming Ming is visiting a female red panda in the Welsh Mountain Zoo.


Babu is a red panda who disappeared from the nature centre in November 2005 and spent four days "on the loose" before being discovered. Nature centre staff believe he was blown out of a tree and found himself outside his enclosure. His disappearance and the citywide panda hunt that ensued made national headlines. After being discovered by a dog-walker in Moseley, Babu was dramatically reunited with his brother Tensing live on Midlands Today.[7][8][9][10]


  1. ^ "BIAZA Zoos and Aquariums". BIAZA. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "EAZA Member Zoos & Aquariums". EAZA. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park - Photos". Birmingham Conservation Trust. 4 January 2016.
  4. ^ Schomberg 1970, pp. 29
  5. ^ "Birmingham Nature Centre to be relaunched as Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park". Birmingham Live. 28 March 2014.
  6. ^ "The Bartlett Society - Closed collections". Zoo History. 11 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Runaway Birmingham panda found up tree". The Telegraph (UK). 3 November 2005. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  8. ^ Kelbie, Paul (4 Nov 2005). "The end of freedom for Babu the escape artist". The Independent (London). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Red panda boosts visitor numbers". BBC. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  10. ^ Bounds, Jon (10 September 2007). "Brummie of the Year 2005". BiNS. Retrieved 18 September 2011.

External links[edit]