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ZSL London Zoo Where was Chi Chi Kept

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Cat-Man, 11 Oct 2009.

  1. Cat-Man

    Cat-Man Well-Known Member

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    We've all heared of Chi Chi the panda, right?, well, someone on this forum said that Chi Chi was kept in the old bear enclosure (not the mappins), this video shows her enclosure,
    British Pathe - QUEEN AT ZOO
    but where was the old bear enclosures, and was this where Chi Chi was kept?
     
  2. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    The old bear enclosures were next to the clock tower I think, approximately where the mangabey enclosure in Gorilla Kingdom is now. I have a guide from 1965 showing 'giant panda' and 'bears' in this area as well as bears on the Mappin Terraces. In 1967 Chi Chi was moved to a modified bison paddock in the cattle house which is about where the lion enclosure is now. There is a also a pathe clip showing Chi Chi's move and you can see both exhibits.
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    The modified paddock in the old cattle house looked a damned site better than the cage Ching Ching and Chia Chia were put in, in the old Sobell pavillion albeit it could have done with some more climbing facilities.
     
  4. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The famous giant panda Chi-Chi was housed in three different places in London Zoo.

    Initially she was kept in a pit between old Lion House and the Park Paddocks, close to the Penguin Pool; this pit was subsequently converted into a seal pond.

    Chi-Chi was then moved to the old bear dens which, as Shirokuma stated, were near the Clock Tower (and were demolished to make way for the Sobell Pavilions).

    Chi-Chi was then moved to the old Deer and Cattle Sheds, occupying the area that previously housed white rhino; again, as Shirokuma stated, this was roughly were the lion enclosure now is.
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2009
  5. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I remember seeing the back of a panda in the Sobell Pavillions when I was very young. I still find it hard to believe that this was the best exhibit they could come up with for such high-profile animals. The deer and cattle shed exhibit was much better.
     
  6. Zambar

    Zambar Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that London's last panda enclosure is one of the last three remaining Sobells. I suppose that the zoo was short on funds at the time, but it still seems an almost offensive place to keep such a species.
     
  7. Simon McGlary

    Simon McGlary Well-Known Member

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    My first ever visit to London Zoo was the day before Chi Chi died. I remember the crowds around her cage were huge. I think looking back at zoo enclosures shows how enclosure design has changed so much over the years as we learn so much about the animals themselves.
     
  8. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 12 Oct 2009
  9. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    This was a bit of a cheap cop-out placing them in a monkey cage, not much room for them as were many exhibits in London zoo
     
  10. LeeMac13

    LeeMac13 Well-Known Member

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    If i remember rightly isnt Chi Chi now kept at the natural history musuem in London?
     
  11. Cat-Man

    Cat-Man Well-Known Member

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  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    ChiChi's 'paddock' enclosure was on the site of the current lion enclosure- it was divided in two halves to allow for visits of the Russian male 'AnAn' from Moscow Zoo. Her inside area was offshow inside the cattle sheds. The two(?) big Plane trees that grow in the Lion enclosure were also in the Panda enclosure. There was a wooden logpile but little other 'furniture' It would have made a better enclosure for the next Pandas than the Sobell Pavilions, but the area was developed for the Big Cats.
     
  13. johnstoni

    johnstoni Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen this footage, the old panda enclosure suggests both the Bison and the Pandas had better accommodation than that built during the 1970s.
     
  14. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes, that’s correct

    Initially, yes, but towards the end of Chi-Chi’s life, a large viewing window was built into the walls of the Deer & Cattle Sheds, so that Chi-Chi was visible to the visiting public, even when she was in her indoor den.

    The old Deer and Cattle Sheds was one of my favourite London Zoo buildings, and I regret that it was demolished. I agree that this provided better animal accommodation than some later developments.
     
  15. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Here is a picture of the enclosure I found on flickr

    Chi Chi and An An
     
  16. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Those are interesting photos of London zoo back then, I wish we had more like that in the forum gallery
     
  17. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I love things like this and old clips and maps too, it's fascinating matching up how things are now with how they used to be.
     
  18. Panthera Puss

    Panthera Puss Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 20 Oct 2009