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Which UK Zoo that has closed would you like to see re-open ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by garyjp, 10 Feb 2019.

  1. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    From what we heard at the time, there was something of a 'revolt' by the next generation who forced the hand of Lord and Lady Fisher, to curtail their spending. It was certainly inferred that (at the very least) there was little love lost... Lady Fisher took miniature horses and donkeys to Sussex, but from what I assumed, she had made sure that the place was empty of animals when the auction took place. On the day we arrived late, and missed everything save some sundries being sold off at the end. The auction sold everything moveable on the property (exactly like a farm sale), boxes of guide-books, cage-labels, feed pots, crockery from the cafe, boxes of nails from the workshop, the steam train (went to Woburn), the railway tracks, all the aviaries, fencing and houses in-situ - everything. So, I cant really see how there was any livestock still on site. I met Martin Goymour, Len Simmons and Ken Sims there, so at least two people would know far more than I do! However, the auctioneers did not require buyers to clear the site, so many of the ramshackle buildings and aviaries remained post auction along with the brick-built pits and pens, as the buyers just stripped what was easy to take, and worth taking - leaving the rest. What was left would have taken some considerable effort to clear, and it was Patrick's decision to re-stock it instead, which led to the re-opening under the new name..

    Interestingly, we went to similar auctions held when Midland Bird Garden, Lilford Park Aviaries and the Flamingo Gardens all closed. I had their sale catalogues (with prices jotted down) for some time, but all are lost now - a pity, they would have made interesting reading. Some may still be out there...?
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2019
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  2. Pepe

    Pepe New Member

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    the titi monkeys were in fact Plecturocebus donacophilus, a species that is often kept in the USA. Very important were the many (sub-)species of spider monkeys (belzebuth/hybridus/rufiventris/paniscus - and several subspecies of geoffroyi).They also had bearded saki monkeys.
     
  3. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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    John Ironmonger included a short paragraph about the re-opened Kilverstone in The Good Zoo Guide (1992):

    Opened in 1992 on the site of what was formerly Kilverstone Wildlife Park, this country park makes much of the features of the old zoo, including some splendid squirrel monkey islands. The collection also includes Brazilian tapirs, llamas, wallabies, maned wolves, and agoutis. Sadly the splendid collection of rare and endangered Latin American primates that had been so painstakingly gathered together at Kilverstone have gone, but there is still a good group of marmosets and tamarins. The park is the only British collection to keep the red handed tamarin. Grazing animals include blackbuck and scimitar horned oryx, and there are impressive flocks of waterfowl. The setting is a 25 acre estate in the valley of the River Thet.​
     
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  4. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting, and quite possible that the Country Park were among the bidders at the Wildlife Park auction. As I said, there will be a number of people who will know more... It is of course quite possible that individual animals were not the same ones. Maned Wolves were very scarce at the time - so until further info disproves this, I think we should assume they ARE the same ones. The rest could have been obtained from anywhere. We had Red-handed Tamarins at the time. The spp had been regularly (if rarely) imported by Ravensden along with large numbers of Squirrel Monkeys and Capuchins, as these three spp were on a commercial quota system in Guyana.
     
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  5. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    On reflection, I think I would have to say Merley Bird Gardens and Cricket St Thomas, as both are within spitting distance of my home and therefore just might give me a job....
     
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  6. pangolin12

    pangolin12 Well-Known Member

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    Zoos I’d like to see re-open
    Wetlands wildlife park, Retford
    Lovely little zoo, built around a lake which was perfect for bird-watching. Bigger than it felt, didn’t have many rarities but did have the extremely rare in Europe white fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons)
    Chestnut centre, chapel-en-le-frith
    Beautiful setting in the Derbyshire hills, had that misty, refreshing feeling to the atmosphere, filled with many owls and otters in lovely enclosures and a giant deer walkthrough. Some highlights included the giant otters, Pine martens, South American horned owls and the elusive harvest mice in the cafe.

     
  7. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    I've got a Midland Bird Gardens catalogue (somewhere!) with at least some prices marked. Must hunt it out.
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I was rather fond of Chestnut myself. My final visit to this collection, mere weeks before it closed, was quite bittersweet given I was viewing the place knowing it would be the last time.... but in a morbid way is even more bittersweet given the fact that as I was walking back to Chapel-en-le-Frith railway station after leaving the zoo, I received a phonecall from my brother letting me know my ailing grandmother wasn't expected to survive more than a few hours, which she didn't.

    So I ended up mourning more than one thing that evening.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Afaik when Belle Vue Zoo closed all the animals were auctioned off too- like a farm sale? Some like the great apes were very valuable too. Its not a zoo I'd like to see re-opened but it had a terrific animal collection.
     
  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Was this pre-EEPs?
     
  11. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of diverting this thread further.

    Of those Zoo auctions I have personal memory of, those at Kilverstone and Long Sutton Butterfly Park did not include livestock. Those at Lilford Park Aviaries, Midland Bird Garden and Guilsborough Grange Wildlife Park did, although in the case of the latter some individual animals had departed pre-auction. Closures of Stagsden Bird Gardens and Guernsey Zoo were handled by the owners.
     
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  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    1977 so I think yes. Orangutans were purchased privately by Gordon Mills, Gorillas by Bristol Zoo, I don't know about anything else.
     
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