The Belgrade Zoo was founded in 1936. It was founded by the mayor, industrial, mr Vlada Ilic. It was opened on Petrovdan - July 12th. The first residents of the zoo were: lions, leopards, polar and dark bear, wolves, makaki and mangabei monkeys, antelopes, buffalos, zebus, deer's, roes, storks, cranes, peacocks, pheasants, owls, pelicans and parrots.
Soon after the opening, the Belgrade Zoo became one of the most popular place for the Belgraders to come to. It has taken in on several occasions the royal family Karadjordjevic. Queen Marija has spent some free time there with the children Tomislav and Andreja, and the young king Petar II has during his visits always been interested for the further plans and building. When formed, the Zoo was located on a bit more than 3,5 ha and very soon on 7, and with the building of the Kalemegdan terrace restaurant and joining of the part of the Lower city it was on a surface of ca 14 ha, and it was in that condition when the WWII broke out. But, during the WW II the Zoo has been bombed two times: the first time in 1941 by the German fascists, and then in 1944 by the allies. Almost the entire animal fond was destroyed. Due to the destruction and the dramatic increase of the number of animals, the Zoo surface has been unfortunately brought down to 7ha after the war, and it is the same size today.
Dana Savkovic - Gligoric, whose father Milorad Savkovic was the Zoo director during that time, says that the residents of the nearby buildings didn't think in 1941 that the zoo was going to be bombed, so they hurried to find shelter there. But the bombs where falling so a lot of people lost their lives, especially in the today's zebra and antelope caves. She saw with her own eyes many animals being blown up. She especially remembers the picture of a elephant being blown up to peaces. Many animals fled the brought down cages, so the authorities had to eliminate them for there were a growing danger for the surrounding. Among the few of them that survived where the hippo Buca and alligator Muja. Since the founding of the zoo to probably the beginning of the WW II, the director was engineer Aleksandar Krstic. That function was in 1944 taken over by Miodrag Savkovic. The first post war director was Ante Tadic. After him came ilorad Lazarevic, Milorad Medenica and Radivoje Trickovic, and since May 1st 1986. the director of the Belgrade Zoo is Vuk Bojovic.
The Belgrade Zoo is open all 365 days per year. In the winter period the box office is open 08-17h and in the summer period 08-20h. The Zoo closes 30 minutes after the closing of the box office. The ticket prices are: adults (above 15 years) - 350 din, children (3 - 15 years) - 250din, student excursions (more than 15 persons) - 200din. The right to free entrance have: children below 3 years, biology, vet and movie, art and design academy students. Even thou it has a surface of only 7ha, the zoo has a very large and quality animal fond. It consists of over 2000 specimen and ca 270 animal types. There number is increasing every day.