Join our zoo community

Wild Boar at London Zoo Early 1980's

Wild Boar at London Zoo Early 1980's
Ste-W, 6 Jun 2010
    • sooty mangabey
      This wins my prize for my favourite photo here for some time! It sums up what was both great and - to be honest - rather awful about the London Zoo of the era.
    • Paradoxurus
      I think this is a great picture too. There are many photographs and postcards available of views down the terraces from its early days but I've not seen many from latter years. This would have been taken around the first time I started being taken to RP by my parents, forming some of my earliest zoo memories.

      Indeed, Ste-W, you have posted a great collection of photographs that bring back many memories of Bristol, RP and Blackpool. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    • Ste-W
      Thanks for your comments Paradoxurus. Glad I found this site so I could share them with everyone (better than gathering dust in a cupboard!).

      I've found another batch of Bristol Zoo photos that I took in 1989, so after a marathon scanning session I'll upload them.

      Personally I find the old photos very interesting as it is good to see how the zoos have improved over the years.
    • johnstoni
      What was great about this?
    • sooty mangabey
      ...the fact that there was a time when London Zoo was bulging with animals, and interesting ones too. That you could be there at opening time, and keep going all day and still not see it all, whereas today you can get to the middle of the afternoon and thoughts turn to home. That it had character and flavour and individuality. That the Mappin Terraces had all sorts of animals crow-barred on to their slopes, rather than a few wallabies - wallabies! - and an emu or two. So what's great about this is what it represents, rather than what it is. And yes, I know, wild boar on concrete, not good.
    • MARK
      I love seeing old photos of London zoo Thank you for up loading them :)
    • johnstoni
      I do understand, remembering when you couldn't get round the zoo in a day, I was just quite young then, and seeing photographs that connect with those times really adjusts my memory of what it was like. I actually like the mappin exhibit more than anything that has come before it, however it would have been fantastic if the public could have walked into and up through the enclosure.....considering how much is made of this at the zoo I'm surprised the wallabies have to be viewed from afar.
    • Jabiru96
      Were most of the exhibits at London concrete back then?
    • MARK
      Many of the really old exhibits in the area where the bears were concrete yes
    • johnstoni
      With maybe the exception of the Clore Rainforest lookout and the gorilla island, IMHO there is still just as much concrete in London zoo as there was 20 years ago. What has changed is the 'soft' furnishing of exhibits, so that in high summer the zoo is lush with natural-looking vegetation, masking walls, buildings, moats etc. The pool occupied by the pelicans in this photo still exists, although the concrete is now well-concealed under soil and sand today as the 'Outback':

      Australian Enclosure on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

      The huts were added for the wallabies, they are nothing to do with the original structure.

      Before the Outback, when the mappin terraces were 'Bear Mountain', a lot of earth was added to the centre of the lower terraces, effectively allowing animals to walk from the pool, up to the original bear enclosures (although a wooden ramp crossed the dry moats of the bear terrace). Enough substrate was added to the extent that trees were growing above what was originally just concrete. The image below captures 'Bear Mountain' at its best and goes some way to explain why a lot of people on this forum were sad to see it go. Needless to say it didn't look the same in winter, and the hidden problem was that the mother, Lanka, could not be mixed with the fully grown cubs, Ursula and Colombo, meaning at least one bear would be restricted to one of the old upper bear enclosures at any given time, which had steeper slopes with a deep dry moat at the front, and therefore the concrete was more difficult to add to with soft substrates. Also, the original bear enclosures are actually above the aquarium so I imagine structurally they couldn't take tonnes of soil, whereas the pig yards are not build above the aquarium:

      You can just see the edge of the old pelican pool at the bottom of the photo

      Here, you can see one of the sloth bears in what were the original pig yards, note the concrete coming through under a rather thin layer of soil. You can see one of the doors to the indoor boar stalls here:[email protected]/943550850/

      In the book 'the buildings of London zoo' there is much written about these terraces, and tunnels from this area right up to the hollow interiors of the mountains tops are described, suggesting that the original intention was to move goats and sheep down to the pig area if necessary, although I'm not sure how willingly any animals would have entered these 'goat runs' inside the mountain.

      Its interesting to note that sloth bears were kept in the very same exhibit only about 16 years previous to Bear Mountain being opened:[email protected]/3370561023/
    There are no comments to display.
  • Category:
    ZSL London Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    6 Jun 2010
    View Count:
    Comment Count:

    EXIF Data

    File Size:
    219.2 KB
    Mime Type:

    Note: EXIF data is stored on valid file types when a photo is uploaded. The photo may have been manipulated since upload (rotated, flipped, cropped etc).