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Chester Zoo Enclosures and areas of historical significance: how should they be dealt with?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by mukisi, 31 Oct 2014.

  1. mukisi

    mukisi Well-Known Member

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    H Gibbins wants to see the cattle shed knocked down. Sacrilege!!! I started ny full time zoo career in that building in 1959,it was the zebra house then.Fond memories, it was also thr first zoo job for Martin Lacey,later to become the owner of the great British Circus. The building does not have the same feel. The stall fronts were all weldmesh and the partitions hard wood salvaged from the transport boxes from Africa. Most old zoos willhave old buildings with 'history'.But progress is progress.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Nov 2014
  2. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Keep it, keep it, keep it.

    Keep it, keep it.

    Keep it.

    Have I made my view clear?

    :)
     
  3. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are quite clear, sorry to tell you it won't make any difference, the building will go eventually.
     
  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Presumably none of Chester's older buildings have listed status?

    I remember that house when it seemed to be full of Grevy Zebras and of course the two Zebroids as well.
     
  5. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    The building housed the zoo's Grevy's zebras until the new enclosure was opened in 1972. The enclosure where the zebras and bongos are now.

    I last saw a Grevy's there in 1984 housed with a Grant's, both animals were due to be exported.

    I also remember the onagers and kulans, and their hybrids in the mid 1970s.
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The only part of the zoo safe from being demolished in the course of time if the interests of the zoo require it is Oakfield Manor. Everything else can - and likely one day will - go.
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The old stable block (between the lions and the tigers) is also listed like the House (both Grade II). The old zoo motto was 'always building' which should be coupled with 'often refurbishing' and 'frequently demolishing'.

    Alan
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think that is probably healthier for a Zoo than being hamstrung with listed buildings completely out of kilter with modern zoo practices, such as Dudley and to a lesser extent, ZSL are.
     
  9. mukisi

    mukisi Well-Known Member

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    zebra house 1960; Cattle shed 2013

    The zebra house in 1960 housed 2 Zebroids, 3 Grevys and 6-8 Grants zebra, a breding goup of white-bearded gnu, a breeding group of beisa oryx and a south american tapir, the section had 2 paddocks where RORA is housing emu ,wallabies,llama; the section also had all the enclosures between the 2 bridges,the beaver pool,a coypu pit ,a raccoon pit and the Wolverine enclosure [still there but well hidden. The condor pen had kamchatka bears It kept 2 0f us quite busy. The zebra house was heated in those days and the coke had to be barowe round from the back of the giraffe house. Happy days!!
    Slightly off subject
     
  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah yes - forgot the old stable block :)
     
  11. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Chester Zoo -- The Islands Development

    Any more information about those Zebroids?
     
  12. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    They were two Grevy’s zebra X horse hybrids, both males, which were born in Kenya.

    Chester Zoo acquired them from a circus in 1957; one lived in the zoo for about twenty years, the other for about thirty years.
     
  13. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Chester Zoo The Isłands...

    In Cecil Webb's Autobiography 'A Wanderer in the Wind', there's a photo of a Grevy's x Arab, with the mother, bred by Raymond Hook in Kenya. I wonder if this animal was one of the two that ended up at Chester. Dates would fit.
     
  14. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Chester animals were certainly bred by Raymond Hook, however, I believe that he bred several Grevy's zebra X horse hybrids about this time, so there is no guarantee that the individual illustrated in this book is actually one of those that subsequently went to Chester.
     
  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I believe they weren't somehow a deliberate acquisition- didn't the circus deposit them with the Zoo or leave them behind or something like that?
     
  16. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I remember them all, except the tapir. Indeed in 1960, the Kamchatka bear enclosure and the smaller exhibits around it must have been some of the newest buildings in the zoo. The bridge over Flag Lane must have been built a little afterwards to access the new Pachyderm House, where I do remember seeing both South American and Malayan tapirs.
    Those two paddocks with the wallabies etc (and possibly Soay sheep too) had very rough grass and funny crenellated breeze block walls, if I remember them correctly.

    Alan
     
  17. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes, I heard a similar rumour although I’m not sure of the full details.

    The version that I heard, although I cannot vouch for its accuracy, was that the circus asked the zoo to provide temporary accommodation for the zebroids. However, the circus never returned to collect them .....so they remained in the zoo for decades.

    Sorry to continue with this off-topic digression from the Islands development...
     
    Last edited: 1 Nov 2014
  18. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Chester Zoo -- The Islands....

    Fascinating stuff though. Of course, no zoo would hold Zebroids nowadays....
     
  19. SMR

    SMR Well-Known Member

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    Also here to stay, if the bats have any say in it, is The Fountain Shop.
    When a zoo has oodles of space at its disposal, as does Chester, there's no reason why some small footprint, inoffensive buildings shouldn't stay for historic purposes, the old cattle house being one of them. This is not the case for zoos such as Dudley for example, where there's no room for new enclosures without knocking something down.
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I was going to add something similar- the odd historic building is definately worth keeping within a large modern zoo. It is a very effective reminder of how the Zoo used to be. The problem is choosing which ones to keep.