Founded by two animal-lovers - Sofia and Julius Gerhardt - in 1865. In 1873 the Zoological Garden was taken over by Ernest Rost. Rost left in 1897, and Zoo began to decline. In 1909 it was closed to visitors until 1918, when it was nationalized and began to be restored. The Zoo closed during the middle of the War, but opened again in 1944.
In 1991 the Zoo decidesd to remain as Leningrad Zoo even though Leningrad voted to return to be named St. Petersburg.
Today it is the second largest Zoo in Russia (after Moscow Zoo), with 2,000 animals from 410 species.