On a rainy afternoon 115 years ago today, the doors to Perth Zoo opened for the first time - showcasing two lions, a tiger and the city's first botanical garden.
Visitors paid sixpence to wander around the grounds, which boasted plants from across the British Empire, under the watchful eye of six employees.
Two lemurs and four ostriches were soon added to the mix, helping to draw 53,000 people to the zoo in its first nine months of operation.
More than a century on - and on the same patch of South Perth real estate - the zoo is attracting more visitors than ever.
A record 665,242 visitors walked through its doors in 2012-13 and acting chief executive Maria Finnigan said there was no doubt its popularity was growing.
"I still delight when I walk through the zoo and see a visitor watching in amazement at the activities of the animals, be it a joey emerging from its mother's pouch in the Australian bushwalk or one of our Sumatran orang-utan babies exploring the world from the safety of its mother's arms," she said.
"All the species we have the privilege of caring for at the zoo provide our visitors with a unique glimpse into the animal world."
It is now home to more than 1220 creatures and has long cemented its place as one of Perth's top tourist attractions and a leader in wildlife conservation.
But while its popularity has remained from day one, the source of that attraction has changed considerably.
A day at the zoo in the early days would not have been complete without an elephant ride, a spin around the grounds in a billygoat cart or a relaxing mineral bath.
Visitors were welcome to feed the monkeys in between tennis tournaments held on the grounds until a "No Feeding the Animals" policy was introduced in 1974.
With the incredible highs there have also been some unfortunate lows, including mauling deaths in 1951, 1952 and 1972, all the result of people jumping into lion or polar bear enclosures.
A front page story in _The West Australian _ on March 9, 1951, described how a woman in her 50s died after she scaled a fence and landed in a lion's cage.
"The body of a woman, gripped in the jaws of a young lion, was discovered by workmen walking past a cage at the South Perth Zoo about 8am yesterday," it read.
The zoo struggled to afford fodder for animals during the Great Depression and at times its existence was threatened by war.
But the zoo not only stood the test of time it also underwent a dramatic transformation to reflect improved animal welfare standards and its changing goals.
Concrete cages were replaced by natural habitats and the horses on the 1947 carousel became the only "animals" visitors were allowed to ride.
Ms Finnigan said the zoo's focus had shifted from recreation and entertainment to conservation, research and education.
"Perth Zoo actively contributes to wildlife conservation through its breeding, research, wildlife medicine and in situ conservation support programs," she said.
Conservation is the zoo's driving force and it inspires the people who work behind the scenes, from the keepers to the scientists.
The zoo has more than 100 full-time employees but that has not stopped a few curious animals from acting up.
Elephants Putra Mas and Permai went gallivanting across the grounds during their morning walk in 1996, sparking a full emergency response.
Thankfully, the six-year-olds steered clear of visitors as they led staff on a frantic run.
In 2009, a 15-year-old orang-utan unfastened a climbing rope and used it to swing out of the enclosure. Her daring escape bid was cut short by staff.
Despite two wars, wild weather and a handful of ingenious escape attempts, Perth Zoo has managed to open its gates every day since it opened.Along the way it has celebrated significant milestones, including the world-first release of a zoo-born Sumatran orang-utan into the wild.