The Beijing Zoo is best known for its collection of rare animals endemic to China including the Giant Pandas, which are the zoo's most popular animals, the golden snub-nosed monkey, South China Tiger, white-lipped deer, Pere David's Deer, Crested Ibis, Chinese Alligator and the Chinese Giant Salamander. The zoo grounds were originally an imperial manor during the Ming Dynasty that became part of the estate of General Fuk'anggan during the Qing Dynasty.
In 1906, the Imperial Ministry for Agricultural, Industry and Commerce established an experimental farm, which held a small menagerie. The Viceroy of Liangjiang, Duanfang, purchased a batch animal from Germany and deposited them there. The animal collection attracted great interest when the farm opened to visitors in 1908. The Empress Dowager and the Emperor Guangxu both visited the zoo twice. The farm was known as the Wanshouyuan or the "Garden of Ten Thousand Beasts".
The zoo has developed rapidly since 1955. Bears, elephants, pandas, lions, tigers, songbirds, hippos, rhinoceroses, antelopes and giraffes were brought in the late 1950s and gorilla and monkey cages and an aquarium house were opened. The reptile house contains specimens of over 100 species of reptiles from all over the world, including crocodiles and pythons.
Now, the Beijing Zoo is an attraction that all visitors can enjoy.