- Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (ZSL Secretary 1903-1935) was inspired by a visit to the Bronx Zoological Park to create a park in Britain as a conservation centre. Hall Farm, a derelict farm on the Dunstable Downs, 30 miles (48 km) to the north of London was purchased by the Zoological Society of London in 1926 for £13,480 12s 10d, The site was fenced, roads built and trees planted. The first animals arrived at the park in 1928, including two Lady Amherst's pheasants, a golden pheasant and five red junglefowl. Others soon followed, including muntjac, llama, wombats and skunks. Whipsnade Park Zoo opened on Sunday 23 May 1931. It was the first open zoo in Europe to be easily accessible to the visiting public. The collection of animals was boosted in 1932 by the purchase of a collection from a defunct travelling menagerie and some of the larger animals walked to the zoo from Dunstable station. During the Second World War, the zoo acted as a refuge for animals evacuated from London Zoo. During 1940, 41 bombs fell on the park with little damage to the zoo structure. Some of the ponds in the park are the remains of bomb craters from this period.