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Flamingo Park Zoo - New Website

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Bubbles, 9 Mar 2010.

  1. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    I've got the new website up and I'm now putting in the content. :) As I'll be going back and adding extra info to certain pages over time, instead of making a new thread about the updates, etc, I'll just keep adding to this thread to make it easier. :)

    Flamingo Park Zoo & Ocean World

    Luckily, for some of the Zoo's early beginnings, I can refer to a book Francis Hick wrote called 'Zoo Lady'. It's a very interesting read, as I visited the Zoo quite a few times in the early years ('60's) when the Zoo was still tidy, neatly lawned and was devoid of anything remotely 'rollercoaster'. The only rides to be had was via a fairground near the Children's Farm. In my mind I can visualise where a lot of the features and animals were even though there's been a lot of years and changes since. Some of the animals got moved around in the 70's, but I can still recall where they were originally. bizarre! (considering how old I am now!) I know quite a few of the people mentioned, so it's quite a nostalgic journey as I read through the book.

    Btw.. I'd like to know how many of you visited the Zoo in the 60's/70's..
     
  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I visited once or twice during that period. I only really remember an Elephant Seal and the walled garden/courtyard cages that contained two female Orangutans, 'Mandy' & 'Janie' (the males had died). Janie was later exchanged with Belle Vue, Manchester for their male 'Adam'- do you know if he lived in the same enclosure at FP or was it a different one?
     
  3. zebedee101

    zebedee101 Well-Known Member

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    Flamingoland and Lambton Lion park hold my first zoo memories from the 1970s
     
  4. John Dineley

    John Dineley Well-Known Member

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    Good to see you have the web page up. I visited Flamingo in the late 1960's and remember seeing the dolphins in the original pools in the reptile house.
     
  5. JamesB

    JamesB Well-Known Member

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    A very interesting website :) I'm hoping to visit during the summer for the first time, it looks like the zoo gets less attention than the rides now but it still looks a decent collection.
     
  6. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    Hiya, Regarding 'Adam', I've just found the book 'Zoo Vet' by David Taylor (it's signed by him as well which I hadn't noticed before!) in which he writes about Adam saying...

    ".. similarly, Harold, the male orangutang at Flamingo Park Zoo, had not been blessed with heirs. We decided to swap Adam for Harold to see if an exchange of mates would remedy the situation. By this time I had a dart-gun and decided to dart Adam, drive him over to Flamingo Park, do the same to Harold and carry him back to Manchester. The orangs could sit beside me in the car".

    Later on he mentions that Adam was too doped up (at first) to be put with the two new wives.

    I can't be positive, but I can only recall one enclosure (although it may have been divided, but that I'm not sure) for the Orangutangs, near the Chimps. I have a photo of 'Cody', (the famous 'talking' one), with a female, taken in the late 70's.. which might have been Mandy.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, James!:) It's a work in progress and there's lots more of the Zoo to cover, as well as photos to be included. I'll also do a before and after page.. showing how some parts of the Zoo looked before they changed it.

    The local newspaper office let me look at some photos they had in their files today and I struck lucky. I found three different aeriel shots of the Zoo and they said I could pop to the local photo shop and have prints from them! I was there like a shot! Later on, I sat in a cafe to look closely at the photos and my jaw dropped. I discovered I was looking at the Zoo not long after it had opened. There are loads of people milling around and if you take the line from where the Baboon Island used to be to the top of the road to what was the Elephant house.. all the land below... (the dolphin house, lion house and the pastures towards the lake), there was just a coach park and behind that just empty fields! Amazing!

    It also shows the original walled gardens and the animal pens/enclosures that backed on to the walls, etc. I'm trying to date the photo using the book written by Francis Hick, by seeing which animals she mentioned they'd aquired and if their pens/enclosures showed up on the photo and also when they built the coach park and later..the carpark, etc. I'll let you know what year as soon as I've worked it out.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think some of this may be 'artistic license'...;) AFAIK BelleVue had two males(Harold & Adam + one female Bobo) and Flamingo Park had only the two females(Mandy & Janie-after their young males died) While Adam was exchanged for Janie, I don't think Harold was ever(?) at Flamingo Park, or left Belle Vue, Manchester until its closure and he (and Janie) went to a private collection at Weybridge. (David Taylor worked for both zoos so would have known the details/names of the animals at both places anyway).

    I think Cody was born at Flamingo Park(Adam x Mandy) and was a hybrid (Sumatran father, Bornean mother). The other Orang in your picture was I think, another young male they got as a companion for him.

    This enclosure looks like the one I remember.
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2010
  9. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    aaah, thank you Pertinax for correcting me!:) I find all this about the Zoo really interesting and it's lovely to know I can count on some of you when the need arises. ;)

    Regarding the aerial photos.... there is no Ocean World, but the sea lion pool is shown near the main entrance, as is a small enclosure in the middle of a paddock for a lion. The rectangle shaped Goldfish pond is clearly seen. There are a lot of people looking round the Zoo and for the aerial shots to have been taken, by a local Newspaper, it must have been of importance, so I'm now wondering if it was to do with the Zoo's second anniversary...which was, what.. 1962?
     
  10. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

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    confused

    In the book about the Zoo, Francis Hick wrote, "It was the early Autumn od 1960". She went on to describe how they stumbled upon Kirkby Misperton Hall and further into the book they opened the Zoo to the public the following year... therefore making it 1961. However, on the net, it says
    it was founded in 1959 and opened in 1960. I've found a photo of the 6 bears they had in the old bear pit (not the one most people will remember) and it says 1960, so clearly the Zoo was opened then as members of the public can be seen. I'm now confused at to why the date at the very beginning of the book is incorrect.... :confused: