In 1831 the collection was acquired by the Surrey Zoological and Botanical Society, and in the August of that year Queen Adelaide gave her patronage to the project of a zoological garden on the south side of the Thames, provided that it was "not in opposition, but only in a true spirit of rivalry to the establishment in Regent's Park."
There was an extension of the ground held on lease by the Society from the Crown. This consisted of five acres and a half on the west side of the South Garden, about an acre n the west of the North Garden, and a strip on the north bank of the canal, containing about three acres and a half, and extending in front of the whole length of the grounds on the south side of the canal.
An additional ten acres, along the south-western verge of the South Garden, was leased from the Crown in 1834. This area was separated from the Park by a wire fence, and, for a time, used as pasture land. The rent paid for the whole was £740, but an abatement was made in 1839, which reduced the amount to £503 7s. 8d. A good deal of building went on during this decade, and the most important structures are given in order of time. In the North Garden an elephant paddock was formed just west of the wapiti house. South of this, the exit turnstile was put up, and the carriage sweep in front of it was made. In the west end of the Garden the pheasant aviaries, removed from Kingston Hill, were erected. Then the first elephant house was built, on the spot where the mouflons' enclosure now stands. The paddock contained the pond, which has since been somewhat altered in shape; and two dry yards were formed "for the use of the animals when the ordinary paddocks would be too wet for their reception." The house was warmed on a novel plan, "the chimney being carried round the building beneath the incombustible floor, and the whole of the heat being thus given out within the house itself" In 1834 the well was bored near the repository, and a pumping engine erected; this considerably reduced the cost of the water supply.
About this time the Council must have had some trouble owing to interference with the animals by visitors, for copies of the following notice were set up in the Gardens:
Ladies are respectfully requestedd not to touch any of the animals with their parasols, considerable injury having arisen from this practice.
The Council called special attention in their Report for 1836 "to a donation by H.R.H. the Princess Victoria of two musk deer." In the following year the Princess ascended the throne, and signified her pleasure to become the Patroness of the Society, in which she took great interest, and which she enriched by many valuable gifts and deposits.
In the closing year of this decade the collections included 1,794 mammals, of 800 distinct species; 5,418 birds, of about 3,000 species, with rather more than the same number in reserve, Of reptiles, 1,034 specimens, and 1,260 of fishes were exhibited. The osteological collection consisted of 386 perfect skeletons, and 700 mammalian skulls: of the former there were 300 in store, and the rest were exhibited.
(Partial text:) The Zoological Society of London. This Edition is limited to 1,000 copies, of which this is No.377. 1905. Henry Scherren, F.Z.S., Member of the British Ornithologists; Union.