When one thinks of Jerusalem, all sorts of Biblical characters might spring to mind. Most tours will take in the sites where famous historical figures made their fame and fortune. However, there can be times when a change of pace is called for. So it’s a refreshing change to gaze upon lions, monkeys, rare birds and other exotic creatures not far from the heart of the capital. The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens popularly known as the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is a zoo located in the Malha neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel. It is famous for its collection of wild life featured in the Hebrew Bible, as well as its success in breeding endangered species. According to Dun and Bradstreet, the Biblical Zoo was the most popular tourist attraction in Israel from 2005 to 2007, and logged a record 738,000 visitors in 2009. The zoo had about 55,000 members in 2009. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo opened in September 1940 as a small "animal corner" on Rabbi Kook Street in central Jerusalem. The zoo was founded by Aharon Shulov, a professor of zoology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus. Among Shulov's goals were to provide a research facility for his students; to gather animals, reptiles and birds mentioned in the Bible, and, as he wrote in 1951, to break down the "invisible wall" between the intellectuals on Mount Scopus and the general public. Early on, the zoo ran into several difficulties in its decision to focus on animals mentioned in the Bible. For one, the meaning of many names of animals, reptiles and birds in Scriptures is often uncertain; for example, nesher in Hebrew commonly translated as "eagle", could also mean "vulture". More significantly, many of the animals mentioned in the Bible are now extinct in Israel due to over-hunting, destruction of natural habitats by rapid construction and development, illegal poisoning by farmers, and low birth rate. Zoo planners decided to branch beyond strictly biblical animals and include worldwide endangered species as well. Yet there is another aspect of this zoo that should be stressed. It provides an almost rural flavor just minutes away from the most popular shopping mall in Jerusalem. It is a place to stroll around at a leisurely pace. The zoo is also children friendly, of all ages, and can make an otherwise challenging day be turned into a special memory.