At present, the nearest thing Ankh-Morpork has to a City Zoo, although as it is situated in the Patrician's Palace, access is by invitation only. The University Librarian is reputed to hop over the wall and spend the odd night here, but what he does is a mystery as we are specifically told there are no orang-utans here of either sex. The importation of orang-utans, nor indeed Great Apes of any species, appears to be informally discouraged, anyway. Wazir and Webb, the City's only import-export firm in live animals, adamantly refuse to touch them.
This is most probably a hangover from previous Patricians, some of whom had inventive variations on a theme of the idea of tearing a convicted felon to death by chaining a large wild animal to each limb and setting them off in four mutually opposed directions. Logically, they needed somewhere to store the creatures in between dismembering engagements. One previous Patrician of a patient disposition used four giant tortoises for this job, and must have kept them securely lest they end up as four king-sized servings of turtle soup and a Dibbler cart-load of tortoiseshell knick-knacks, a dollar each, no questions asked, squire. On Roundworld, giant tortoises are natives of Africa and certain Pacific islands. Following the general principle that Ankh-Morpork is in a pretty much "European" part of the Disc, it would seem that such long-lived creatures will not be native, may have been imported as curios or gifts, and as the species is known for its longevity, could well be up to two hundred years old.
The Patrician still maintains, possibly only out of tradition, snake and scorpion pits. Of necessity, these will need a breeding programme to replace and replenish and improve upon stock. Possibly the Menagerie includes herpetology and arachnia houses where this work might be carried out, always assuming Vetinari does not subcontract this work to the Assassins' Guild, who may be expected to have a vigorous Natural History department of their own at the Guild School. (If only as another ongoing informal test for overconfident students).
There is a reference somewhere to Carrot having taken Angua here on a date, although Carrot noted that in Angua's presence, the animals either hid at the back of the cage or were un-naturally subdued.
We learn in Snuff that Quirm has a fully-fledged City Zoo, which makes it one step ahead of Ankh-Morpork in this respect. Sam Vimes takes Young Sam there to see the elephants and gain raw material for his new, engrossing, albeit inexpensive, hobby.
Named Animals on the Menagerie inventory
- the Hermit Elephant of Howondaland.
- the Swimming Shrew from Llamedos.
- the Acrobatic Meerkat from Howondaland.
- the Counting Camel, from Klatch.
- the Ring-Maned Lion.
- the Reciprocating Ocelot.
- the Rotating Nogo.
- the Coat-Hanger Elk from NoThingfjord.
- the Chameleon Alligator from Genua.
- the Bouncing Kangaroo from Fourecks.
- the Bashful Panda from Agatea.
- the Woolly Goat from the Trollbone Mountains.
There may also be half a dozen concubines from Ymitury.
This is not an exhaustive list and represents only those Discworld animal species quoted or described in Book:The World of Poo as resident at the Menagerie. However, the observant reader will have noticed that this STILL doesn't offer any logical reason for the Librarian to make nocturnal visits to the Menagerie at periodic intervals - there is not a single simian of any sort on this list.
Mr Pontoon is also clear on the distinction between "real" world fauna and the "heraldics". For e.g., he only deals with the former and the latter is the province of the College of Heralds.