In 2011 the Bioparco celebrated its 100th anniversary: inaugurated in 1911 and situated in the historical park of Villa Borghese, it is today one of Europe’s oldest zoological gardens.
Carl Hagenbeck’s original project led to the construction of a 12 hectare park where animals could roam freely: this was a completely new concept that turned the Rome Zoological Garden into one of the most modern zoos of its time.
In 1935 the zoo was enlarged to its current surface area of 17 hectares. The new area, designed by architect Raffaele De Vico, includes the current reptile house and a large geodesic shaped aviary, which is still unique in its kind.
The zoo was later privatised until the current Foundation was set up: large restoration works and an entrepreneurial style of management have turned it into a modern zoo. In line with the World Zoo Conservation Strategy (a document adopted by WWF International and drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN) the Bioparco plays an active role in environmental education and the conservation of endangered species