As most people are aware, 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war, and in honour of the occasion, a number of London’s top attractions and landmarks are holding special events that provide an insight into what life was like during the conflict.
One place that you might not expect to have been particularly involved in the war effort is London Zoo, although amazingly, the venue did actually take a very active role in helping out the troops, and anyone who wants to learn more about this should be sure to visit the amazing exhibit entitled The Zoo at War.
Running until the end of September, this incredible display gives visitors an insight into the way in which staff at the zoo helped the armed forces to design the trenches that they built on the battlefield. They did this by recreating miniature versions of the trenches, which they then filled with an army of black rats, in order to demonstrate the negative effects that conditions on the front line can have on soldiers’ wellbeing.
What’s more, visitors will be able to learn all about how large sections of the zoo were converted into an allotment, which was used to grow food for the army’s horses.
Kids and adults alike will be fascinated to hear that, while London Zoo stopped bringing in animals during the Great War, it did receive one new arrival – a bear named Winnie who had been brought over as a mascot by Canadian troops.
It was this very bear that provided the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh, after author A.A Milne came to see him at the zoo, along with his son Christopher Robin.
So, if you’re keen to see a different side to one of London’s top attractions, be sure not to miss out on this amazing exhibit.
London Zoo is located in Regent’s Park, which is easily accessible from the Montcalm London Marble Arch.