Join our zoo community

Memorials to individual animals in zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 4 Jan 2021.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Mortality is sadly a given in this life and for many popular individual animals which touch the lives of generations of visitors to zoos over years and decades it can be a very sad time when they pass away.

    Many zoos around the world choose to commemorate the lives of these animals in the form of memorials, monuments and plaques placed on site so I thought this could be a good thread topic to document and discuss some of these.

    What are some examples of memorials to individual zoo animals that you can think of ?

    Did you experience or see the animal while it was still alive and what are your memories of it ?

    What makes a good and fitting memorial to a special / significant animal within a zoo in your opinion?


    Look forward to reading your replies.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2021
    felis silvestris likes this.
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    So here is one of the most significant and well known memorials to an individual animal at a zoo (perhaps more to a species and its extinction really) in this case for Matha the passenger pigeon at the Cincinnati zoo, USA :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The memorial even apparently extends beyond the zoo gates and into the city itself with this quite beautiful mural / artwork:
    [​IMG]

    Photo credits to @Moebelle and @Baldur.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2021
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Here are some aesthetically tasteful memorial statues (IMO) that I found in the zoochat gallery of individual animals and some pictures of them in life taken by zoochatters:

    Howletts zoo, UK, memorial to "Djoum" the gorilla:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Photo of "Djoum" the gorilla in life at Howletts zoo:
    [​IMG]
    Howletts zoo, UK, memorial to "Torgamba" the Sumatran rhino :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Photos of "Torgamba" in life during his time at Port Lympne zoo:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Footage of Torgamba after his return to his native Sumatra, Indonesia :

    Statue memorial to "Gina" the orangutang at Jersey zoo, UK :
    [​IMG]
    Gina the orangutang in life at Jersey zoo:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Photo credits to @Lemurs, @Gigit , @Newzooboy, @MagpieGoose ,@mhale, @jerseygorilla, @gentle lemur.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2021
  4. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    27 Apr 2017
    Posts:
    950
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    A more recent one was Penny the giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain. Long story short, the zoo broadcast the pregnancy and later medical treatment for this little giraffe to millions of people in a series of videos. Unfortunately she was euthanized in July 2018 (about a week before the devastating hail storm that made world news). Being the 200th giraffe born at the zoo and her story being so widely shared, the community and zoo made a memorial that was revealed this summer. It’s well made but there’s no plaque or sign so unless you know the story, you might just think it was just a bronze giraffe statue.

    upload_2021-1-3_20-18-58.png
     
  5. Enzo

    Enzo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Nov 2020
    Posts:
    782
    Location:
    Nova Iguaçu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    There is a statue of Macaco Tião at the Rio de Janeiro zoo (he was a chimpanzee and everyone mistakenly thought he was a monkey, so his name translated to English would be "Sebastião/Tião/Sebastian, the monkey"). He was the most voted chimp in history.
     
  6. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
    15 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    3,622
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Two significant memorials at London Zoo are Guy the Gorilla, who I saw many times over the years, and Winnie the American Black Bear.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for sharing @FBBird, good example, I have seen the memorial to Guy at both London zoo, Crystal palace park and his taxidermy at the Natural History Museum.

    He was certainly a very beloved gorilla by the public what are your memories of watching Guy the gorilla at the zoo?
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for your comment @Enzo! Do you have any pictures of "Macaco Tião" or the monument to him ?

    This is the chimpanzee that infamously threw his crap at a politician right ?

    Well he was certainly also a beloved animal but for different reasons in that he did what many people would have surely liked to have done.
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks for sharing @Echobeast !

    A sad story indeed but it is quite touching that a bronze monument was made for little Penny the giraffe, shame that a plaque isn't also added though to give more context / detail.
     
  10. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2015
    Posts:
    16,465
    Location:
    New Zealand
    When Karta the Sumatran orangutan died in childbirth at the Adelaide Zoo, the zoo came up with a unique idea for a memorial:

    We're thrilled to share that Karta's Sumatran guard post is complete

    We thought about traditional memorials like statues or plaques, but also felt we had an opportunity to do something more significant, something that reached far beyond our zoo grounds.

    So, together with Karta’s keepers Jodie and Pij, we came up with the ambitious plan of raising $20,000 to fund the construction of a guard post in Karta’s native island of Sumatra.

    Protecting the rainforest of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia, the building stands on the edge of the park, playing a vital role in the fight against illegal activities such as poaching and logging.

    As well as functioning as a guard post, the building will also be used a hub for four rangers, whose main aim is to control access areas leading in and out of the park.

    Located only 1km from a major stream which is frequently used to transport the shipment of illegally logged timber, Karta’s guard post is seen as a milestone in fighting illegal logging, forest encroachment and habitat destruction.


    upload_2021-1-4_16-26-23.jpeg

    upload_2021-1-4_16-29-40.jpeg
     
    kermodei, Van Beal, Birdsage and 5 others like this.
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Guy the Gorilla state at ZSL London :
    [​IMG]
    Guy the Gorilla in life at London zoo:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Some colour footage of Guy the gorilla at London zoo:




    Photo credits to @mhale and @gentle lemur.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2021
  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thank you for sharing this @Zoofan15 !

    I hadn't heard about this but I'm actually really very impressed by this.

    I do like statues and artistic memorials to zoo animals, however, this to me is an excellent example of doing something symbolic and deeply significant but above all practical to honour the memory and life of an animal (and the conservation of her species).
     
    Birdsage, akasha, Jambo and 3 others like this.
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    @Zoofan15 I found a great portrait shot in the gallery of Karta in life :
    [​IMG]
    Some footage of her in life too (and her incredible escape attempt):



    Photo credit to @marmolady.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2021
    Zoofan15 likes this.
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Great apes appear to be the most common animals given memorial sculptures at zoos which is interesting and perhaps reflects the greater affinity that staff and visitor feel towards these primates which are so closely related to us.

    Here are some more examples of ape memorials from zoos around the world:

    Memorial statue of the gorilla "Willie B" at the Atlanta zoo, USA:
    [​IMG]
    Monument to celebrate the life of the bonobo "Mafuka" at Artis Royal zoo, Netherlands:
    [​IMG]
    Monument to the tragic lives of "Rita" and "Lloyd" the war time chimps at Tennoji zoo, Japan:
    [​IMG]
    Monument to the orangutangs historically kept at Edinburgh zoo, Scotland / UK:
    [​IMG]
    Impressive monument to the life of "Ivan" the gorilla who strangely enough was never kept at the zoo, Point Defiance zoo, USA:
    [​IMG]
    Bronze statue of "Bobby" the silverback gorilla who lived during the 1930's at Berlin zoo, Germany:
    [​IMG]
    Another statue from Howletts zoo this time commemorating the life of "Gugis" the gorilla, this one in contrast to the other statue at the park is very poorly done IMO:
    [​IMG]

    Photo credit to @Milwaukee Man, @vogelcommando, @PossumRoach, @mhale , @snowleopard and @Zebraduiker.
     
    kermodei, Van Beal, Jambo and 3 others like this.
  15. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2018
    Posts:
    2,658
    Location:
    Munich
    would an animal being taxidermized be considered memorialized? if so Mr. Magoo the Indian mongoose is one of the fewest mongeese to garner fame.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Yes, of course, it is the ultimate form of an animal being memorialized (or human animal when you think about mummification in Ancient times and Lenin's mausoleum) I think.

    I don't think taxidermy is done very commonly at zoos but definitely it is with former zoo animals at Natural history museums like Guy the gorilla or Chia Chia the panda for example.

    What species was Mr. Magoo and where was he kept ?
     
  17. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2015
    Posts:
    16,465
    Location:
    New Zealand
    In this case, this guy right here:

    Rajah was a bull Indian elephant that Auckland Zoo acquired from the Hobart Zoo in 1930 as a companion for the female, Jamuna.

    As Rajah matured, he became difficult to control and was finally shot in 1936. Today, it is widely believed his unmanageable behaviour could have been attributed to the natural phenomenon of musth.

    There’s an interesting account of his life here: Wild Child

     
    Van Beal likes this.
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    8,273
    Location:
    Brazil
    Sounds a bit like the case of "Jumbo" the elephant at London zoo who they believe also was going through musth and some health problems too.

    Is the taxidermy of Rajah actually on display at a zoo in NZ though ?
     
  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2015
    Posts:
    16,465
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I think overall zoos were just ill-equiped to manage bull elephants. Most of the other zoos in the region held cows (often just a single cow), which were primarily used for entertainment (elephant rides).

    Rajah is on display at the nearby Auckland Museum. They also have two orangutans - including an infant that died shortly after birth at the Auckland Zoo.
     
  20. The Cassowary

    The Cassowary Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Apr 2020
    Posts:
    507
    Location:
    Tennessee
    The St. Augustine Alligator Farm keeps the taxidermied remains of the giant saltwater crocodile Gomek on display in a building called Gomek Forever, which also has some small reptile enclosures, replica skulls of the prehistoric giant crocodiles Sarcosuchus and Deinosuchus, and traditional art from Papua New Guinea (where Gomek was captured), though Gomek himself is the centerpiece in the building. There is a screen on the wall behind him that plays a video about Gomek’s history.

    [​IMG]
     
    kermodei, Van Beal, Birdsage and 2 others like this.