The University of Ibadan Zoological Garden was established in 1948 primarily as Menagerie to support teaching and research in the Department of Zoology. With time the animal collection grew in number and diversity and the Menagerie gradually became a full fledged Zoo in 1974. It welcomes a large number of visitors from far and near every year.
Its collection of various wild animals soon became a major point of attraction for visitors to the university. With a wide array of exotic species from different places in and out of Nigeria, by 1979, the zoo had received almost a quarter of a million visitors, the university authority said.
The University of Ibadan Zoo, like most modern zoos, displays wild animals primarily for the conservation of endangered species, as well as for research purposes and education, and so also for the entertainment of visitors.The garden is home to a wide array of animals comprising mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
According to online records too, Ibadan used to have a rich assortment of tourist sites to visit for numerous fun lovers. Then, it was in vogue to mention such places like the Captain Bower Towers, U. I. Botanical Garden, Agodi Garden, Mapo Hall, Dugbe markets and Trans-Amusement Park, where leisure time could be spent by both locals and tourists alike.
But perhaps, none caught the constant fancy of all like the university zoo, which attracted visitors from far and wide on a regular basis. A visit today shows that a lot will need to be done by the institution’s authorities to garner the same accolades it attracted in its glorious past.