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The Riga National Zoo was established on 14 October 1912. Since then it has experienced a vareity of ups and downs, but most importantly the zoo has achieved a repsectable age, although not a record one, since the beginnings of the modern zoo can be traced to earlier centuries.
In November 1992 the Zoo was addmitted as a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). On 22 December the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia granted the Riga Zoo the status of National Zoo.
The suburban branch of the Zoo "Cīruļi" was established in 1993 for the purose of housing and increasing the number of kiangs. In 1997 the Insectarium becomes a permanent exhibit.
The Zoo includes the traveling exhibition "Little Giants" – animated puppets representing greatly magnified insects.
Live exhibits and information games are a part of the exhibit.
The WHISKAS tiger house began operations on 13 November 1998 – the largest and most modern building of this type in Europe. This is the first structure financed by businesses and private individuals since the 1930’s. Prominent contributors include the Environmental Protection Fund of Latvia and the company Master Foods. Next, 15 May 1999 saw the opening of a farmstead giving visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with domestic animals typical to Latvia.
The Tropical House of the Riga Zoo with 80 species of animals opened its doors to visitors on 25 May. Included are exhibits of amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates (insects, scorpions and arachnids) and nocturnal animals. This is the first major environmental exhibition in the Riga Zoo. Deserving of special attention is the exhibit of leafcutter ants.