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red-eared terrapin and koi pool

photo taken about 1988. The site of this pool is now a meerkat enclosure

red-eared terrapin and koi pool
Chlidonias, 9 Jun 2010
    • Chlidonias
      photo taken about 1988. The site of this pool is now a meerkat enclosure
    • Chlidonias
      ...and that meerkat enclosure is now holding leopard tortoises, although it is doesn't look entirely suitable with a deep moat around the perimeter. The meerkats have a new larger exhibit further towards the top of the zoo.
    • Chlidonias
      ....and now this enclosure is completely gone, having been demolished recently
    • Chlidonias
      there are no later photos on Zoochat of this exhibit when it became a meerkat enclosure and then a leopard tortoise enclosure (I'm not sure if I even have any photos of those two stages), but I came across an old photo on the Wellington Zoo website showing this pool. It turns out this was originally the elephant bath!!

      If you go to the zoo's history page there's a slideshow of a few old photos, one of which shows an elephant in this pool surrounded by visitors and with the elephant house visible a little bit down the slope in the background. I think the elephant must be Kamala, who was at the zoo from 1953 to 1983. From the clothes and hair of the visitors it looks like the photo is from the 1970s.

      Wellington Zoo - History
    • zooboy28
      While I concur that the elephant pool on the Wellington Zoo page was what became the meerkat and leopard tortoise exhibit, and was then demolished, I'm not sure I believe that this photo shows that exhibit.

      It just looks rather too big. And the walls don't look quite right. I instead wonder if this wasn't the pool just below the Elephant House, which by the time of this map ( was holding alligators, but I'm not sure if it still was by 1988. This held a pair of Australian Shelducks in the mid-2000s, and was demolished to make way for the function centre and skink slide a few years back.

      Did you see alligators on your 1988 visit?
    • Chlidonias
      I can't say with 100% certainty, but from memory this pool (the turtle/koi one) was up near the kiosk (i.e. between the elephant house and the kiosk - where the meerkat enclosure was).

      In 1988 the alligator (just one) was in an aviary in the now-gone Bird Valley. It shared its quarters with various herons and ibis.

      Where you saw Australian Shelducks in mid-2000s, there were Radjah Shelducks in 1988.
    • zooboy28
      Ah OK. That sounds reasonable then :)

      Seems rather bizarre that you would keep an alligator in a waterbird aviary... I wonder why they moved it in there - from the shelduck pond.
    • Chlidonias
      it was a bit weird seeing the alligator there, but it was a large aviary so it had lots of room (probably more than it had had in the other enclosure). The birds were glossy and Australian white ibis, white heron, cattle egret, royal spoonbill and spur-winged plover (and the alligator had eaten one of the plovers we were told).
    • Chlidonias
      on a side-note, looking at the photo of the elephant in the pool on the Wellington Zoo site: how the heck did they get it into the pool at bath-time? There must have been a ramp or steps on both outside and inside of the wall but it is difficult to see where they would be.
    • zooboy28
      Yeah, that is a bit weird, there's nothing obvious in the photo. Perhaps it is so shallow she could simply step over the wall?
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    Wellington Zoo
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    9 Jun 2010
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