The shocking survey found that when asked to name a series of animals, more than half of children aged between four and 12 struggled to recognise a crocodile while 44 per cent were unable to identify a leopard.
Many children also had difficulty recognising gorillas and chimpanzees while others could not tell the difference between a male and female lion.
In another disturbing statistic that could perhaps explain the lack of animal knowledge, the research found nearly a quarter of children had never visited a zoo or animal park.
As a result, just one in five of the 1000 children surveyed were able to correctly identify up to four basic wild animals.
TV presenter and wildlife expert Michaela Strachan said the trend was shocking.