"Animals in the Zoo" was released on March 26, 1971, on The Kinks' ninth studio album, Percy
. The album was the soundtrack for a British comedy movie of the same name, which tells the fictional story of the man who receives the world's first penis transplant. Percy was not a critical hit or popular success in movie form or as an album.
Lead singer Ray Davies wrote all of the tracks for the album as he had done for many albums before. Davies was the writer responsible for The Kinks' biggest hits, including "You Really Got Me
" and "Lola
." Most of the tracks were entirely new material, many of which have never been re-released on any subsequent albums until the 1989 re-release of the album on Castle Music, LTD as Percy/The Album That Never Was
, containing all the original Percy tracks with extra, unreleased tracks.