The zoo is dedicated to the accommodation, enrichment, husbandry, and medical care of wild animals, and houses about 2000 individuals of 320 species.
The Johannesburg Zoo has its origins as part of the Braamfontein farm which was owned by Hermann Eckstein. He had bought the farm to explore it for minerals and when he failed to find any, the land was converted as a timber plantation in 1891 called Sachsenwald after Otto von Bismarck.
After 1912 the zoo expanded into land that had been allocated in trust for a war memorial, the Rand Regiments Memorial for soldiers that died during the Second Anglo-Boer War.
From 1994 onwards, the zoo like others in South Africa begun to lose their government grants and so in 2000, the Johannesburg City Council corporatised the zoo and it became the Johannesburg Zoo Company with the Council as its main shareholder.
The Johannesburg Zoo is also the only zoo in South Africa to have successfully bred Siberian tigers, the largest cats in the world.
"Twist" the male Siberian, weighs 320 kg, and is the father of all the Siberian tigers to be found in South Africa. Max the gorilla was probably the zoo's best known resident.
Source Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannesburg_Zoo