Near to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest Zoological and Botanical centres in the world. It is located on the northern slope of Victoria Peak and has been opened to the public since 1862. In 1871, it was officially renamed to Botanical Gardens, and in 1975, the name was changed again to Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. This venerable park was previously named Bing Tao Garden, meaning the Chief Commander's Garden. It was then linked to the garden of the Government House. In 1941, a bronze statue of King George VI was erected in the garden to mark the centenary year in which Hong Kong became a British Colony.
Keeping wild animals in the Garden can be traced as early as 1876. At that time, animals were kept merely for entertainment. From 1970s, the emphasis changed to techniques in captive breeding and conservation.
Today, the Garden has a collection of over 600 birds, 70 mammals and 40 reptiles which are housed in about 40 enclosures. The collection includes orangutans, gibbons and other primates; the American Flamingo, jaguar and Burmese Python can be found here as well. There is an active breeding programme for many of these species, notably the orangutans, gibbons, and lemurs which rarely breed in captivity.
The Garden keeps for more than 1000 species of inland plant such as Conifer, Fig, Palm, Gum Trees and Magnolia. Besides, a Greenhouse at the eastern boundary of the Garden houses over 150 native and exotic species including orchids, ferns, bromeliads, climbers and house plants etc.