The sketch was drawn from life at the Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park. It wasn’t until 1867 that the word zoo entered the international vocabulary when it was made popular by ‘The Great Vance’, a famous Edwardian who sang:
” The ok thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to toddle in the zoo.”
The Zoological Gardens in London opened in 1828 only to members of the Society, known as the fellows, and their friends. It was only later in 1847 that the zoo opened it’s doors to the public, for financial reasons. This sketch was executed only four years after the zoo opened to the public.