I found an old “Official Illustrated Guide To Taronga Park Zoo And Aquarium” in a second-hand bookshop the other day, and thought a description may be interesting to others. It cost me NZ$6 but the original price was one shilling and sixpence. The entry price for the zoo at that time was two shillings for adults and sixpence for children; the aquarium had a separate admission of one shilling for adults and thruppence for children. Now, I know what Australians are thinking: “Shillings? Sixpence? What the heck is a thruppence??! How old is this book!?“ Well, here's a clue – one of the photos inside is of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt holding a koala. Actually the book isn't dated, but it must be around the late-1940s/early 1950s based on the photo captions. Via Google I discovered that Mrs. Roosevelt visited Taronga in September 1943 (and the koala scratched her neck and hand – she described the encounter with the marsupial as “unpleasant”). There is the giraffe pair High and Mighty with their offspring Taronga (who was born in 1939 and died in 1941; the male High died the next year), hippo Fatima with her baby Nero, and African elephant Chori who is described as being twelve years old (which would make the date of the guide book about 1949 because she was ten years old at the time of import). The caption says Chori is “the first African elephant to be exhibited in Australia”, so they must be deliberately forgetting poor Dumbo, imported as a six-year-old in 1947 and surviving just six months at the zoo. Chori was actually imported just a few days before Dumbo's death (in July 1947), and died in 1979. There isn't exactly a surfeit of information in the text of the guide, apart for a few nice snippets here and there (like the black rhino pair Ruby and Rupert having been “presented to the Gardens by a Sydney citizen”, and Taronga being “the only Zoo in Australia to have bred and reared” polar bears). So most of the interest lies in the photos of species no longer at the zoo, or no longer in Australia at all in many cases. The very first photos, on the inside cover, are of a trio of hyacinth macaws and a greater bird of paradise. Other birds are single-wattled cassowary (just called “cassowary” because the book doesn't believe in specifics), crowned cranes and Indian sarus cranes, black-necked swans and bar-headed geese, a flock of eleven flamingoes, African penguins, Pesquet's parrot, touraco, Bali starlings, green magpies (“cissas or hunting crows”), and of course kagus. The last two photos in the book are of a red-billed toucan and a pair of great hornbills. Amongst the photos of more usual mammals (elephants, lions, tigers, hippos, etc) there are also lesser kudu, a group of dorcas gazelles, and surprisingly a pair of babirusa. The map at the front of the book has some quaint touches (“men's lavatories” but “ladies retiring rooms”) and for some reason has a label for where to get hot water when at the zoo. That must have been an important consideration in the 1940s. Most of the animal names are generalised (antelopes, aviaries, eagles and vultures, that sort of thing) but picking and choosing there are also marmots (presumably prairie dogs), badgers, porcupines, “hares” (mara), gnu, yaks, springboks and “Prejevalski's horses”.