Chessington World of Adventures Zoo
Meet over 1,000 animals at Chessington Zoo from the exotic and endangered to the just plain cute. There’s just so much to explore – meet mischievous meerkats, come nose to nose with sharks and rays in the spectacular SEA LIFE centre or roar with the lions in the Trail of the Kings.
In our zoo you will find the following areas…
Wanyama Village & Reserve: Who needs an overseas Safari holiday when an African Reserve is right on your Surrey doorstep? Grevy’s Zebras, the very rare Scimitar Horned Oryx and Meerkats will take centre stage at the brand new Wanyama Village & Reserve .
Lorikeet Lagoon: Go truly wild on an expedition through the Lorikeet Lagoon, part of our amazing new land, Wild Asia… a beautiful way to meet these exotic and colourful birds.
Trail of the Kings
Journey through the jungle and get a close-up look into the world of the fascinating Western Lowland Gorillas, Asiatic Lions, Persian Leopards, Sumatran Tigers, Binturongs and Fossas.
Children’s Zoo: The Children’s Zoo is the perfect opportunity for animal lovers to interact with a range of farmyard friends, including pygmy goats, chickens, KuneKune pigs and rabbits.
Creepy Caves: Explore a world of reptiles, snakes and creepy crawlies, including pythons, tarantulas, and other fascinating lizards, frogs and caterpillars!
Monkey & Bird Garden: Home to more than twenty different species of monkeys and birds, this garden walkthrough is not to be missed! There are interactive play ‘n’ learn elements, an incredible Squirrel Monkey walkthrough and fascinating facts for the whole family!
Penguin Cove & Otters: Waddle down to Penguin Cove where you can see the Humboldt Penguins splashing around or stop by and say hello to the mischievous otters nearby.
Sealion Bay: Splash down to Sealion Bay for the chance to see Harley and Boston play in the water!
Chessington World of Adventure SEA LIFE Centre
Lifting the lid on the mysteries of the underwater world, Chessington’s SEA LIFE centre is a truly breath taking experience for all deep sea explorers!
Packed full of fun exhibitions, including interactive rockpools, daily talks and feeding sessions as well as a breathtaking walkthrough ocean tunnel, adventurers feel as if they are walking along the ocean floor as Blacktip Reef Sharks, Rays and a multitude of fish swim freely overhead. To give you a taste of some of the species we have on show, click on the links below.
In this area of our zoo you will find the following…
Blacktip Reef Shark: Found across the tropical coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Blacktip Reef Shark’s distinctive dorsal fin is a common sight skimming the shallow waters. Many people have a fear of sharks, but Blacktip Reef sharks are relatively timid and pose little threat to humans, unless they stand in their way of them hunting fish!
FUN FACT: Sharks cannot swim backwards. In order to prevent suffocation, sharks must keep seawater flowing through their open mouths and over their gills to breathe.
Rays: Rays are distinctive from other sea dwelling creatures due to their flat bodies and long thin tails. Most rays live on the sea floor and survive by taking water in through small openings on the top of their heads, known as spiracles, and passing it out through their gills. They survive on small clams, snails and fish. At Chessington we have Spotted Rays, Thornback Rays, Undulate Rays and Painted Rays.
FUN FACT: Ancient Greek dentists used the venom from a stingray’s spine as an anesthetic.
Jelly Fish: Jellyfish are one of the oldest species found on the planet. They come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes – ranging from 3mm to 3metres in diameter. Jellyfish have long tentacles that are covered in stinging cells which can cause a very painful sting. They do not have a brain, heart or any bones.
FUN FACT: Jellyfish need to be kept in round tanks otherwise they get stuck in the corners! They are very poor swimmers and usually simply drift in the water.
Starfish: There are over 2,000 species of starfish across the worlds’ oceans. Their underside is covered in hundreds of small tube-like feet which allow them to move about. These tubes also help the starfish to eat by opening shells so the starfish can eat the clams and scallops inside.
FUN FACT: Whilst most starfish have five arms, some have many more. The Sun Starfish can have up to 40 arms! Starfish also have the ability to grow new arms if they loose one.
Lionfish: Lionfish are native to warm waters in the Indian and Pacific oceans. These fish may look pretty with their unusual red and white stripes, but they are not friendly at all! Lionfish are venomous with their needle-like spikes, or fins, packed full of deadly venom, protecting them from predators in the water.
FUN FACT: Lionfish will often spread their spikes and trap small fish there so that they can swallow them more easily.
Puffer fish: Puffer fish have a big head and big eyes with a rather small body, which actually makes them quite poor swimmers. Puffer fish are famous for their ability to inflate to almost double their size. They quickly take in huge amounts of water which makes them look bigger and scarier to nearby predators. Puffer fish are also extremely venomous. There is enough toxin in one Puffer fish to kill 30 humans!
FUN FACT: Puffer fish are said to have friendly personalities and good memories. Some even say they learn to recognise their keepers.
Seahorses: There are over 30 species of seahorses around the world, found mainly in sheltered, shallow waters. Seahorses are distinctive from other fish for a number of reasons. They do not have scales, more like a thin skin, they swim upright unlike most fish who swim horizontally, and their eyes can move independently, like a chameleon.
FUN FACT: Male seahorses give birth to their young. The female deposits her eggs into the male’s front pouch and then 2 – 4 weeks later the male gives birth to up to 200 babies!
Clownfish: Most people recognize clownfish for their distinctive orange coloured scales and three white stripes along their body. However, Clownfish can also be yellow, red or even black. They live in small groups in sea anemones. Clownfish are in fact one of the only fish that can remain unharmed by swimming through these poisonous plants.
FUN FACT: Clownfish are all born male, but can change to female at a later stage in their lives.