A zoo, also known as David's treasure zoo or just treasure zoo, is a special room that is randomly generated in the Dungeons of Doom and also appears in several special levels. Most of the squares in the zoo are occupied by a sleeping random monster and a random amount of gold.
Zoos can be randomly generated on any level in the main branch beneath level 6. Each eligible level has a one in seven chance of containing a zoo unless the level already has a shop, a throne room, or a leprechaun hall; is a maze; or is a special level. In practice, this means the player has about a 10% chance of finding one on eligible levels.
- You hear a sound reminiscent of a seal barking.
- You hear a sound reminiscent of an elephant stepping on a peanut.
- There is a zoo on the level.
- You hear Doctor Dolittle!
- There is a zoo on the level, and you are hallucinating.
- Welcome to David's treasure zoo!
- You have entered the zoo.
Special levels with zoos
- The top floor of Sokoban always has a zoo, guarding the Sokoban prize.
- The middle level of the Wizard's Tower has a large zoo.
- Fort Ludios has a zoo containing Croesus along with all the random monsters
- The Thieves' Guild Hall in the Tourist quest has a zoo.
The main risk of zoos is being surrounded by multiple attackers, with them possibly cutting off any escape route.
One common strategy is to use stealth. This will allow you to take on each sleeping monster one at a time, making combat much easier. Be careful to avoid things that will wake up monsters, such as letting a pet attack them, kicking anything, and engaging exploding enemies such as yellow lights and gas spores. In the Fort Ludios zoo, stealth does not work because entering the level causes an alarm to sound, waking all the monsters.
It is often safer to displace several pets into a zoo, rather than fight it out yourself. Monsters will use their ranged attack only against you, and will only attack the pet when it attacks them. If you use pets, though, you may need to stay close to heal them.
For combat situations where most or all of the zoo's inhabitants have been awakened, you can opt to use a ring of conflict and turn them against each other. Keep in mind that you are still an eligible target for attack, and may still find yourself on the wrong end of some projectile attacks; conflict will also endanger your pet and/or cause them to attack you as well if they are in the area.