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Australasian Zoo & Circus History Journal Issue 1

Australasian Zoo & Circus History Journal Issue 1

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Published by Storm Gerome
The Australasian Zoo & Circus Animal History Journal holds reserached articles on the lost animals from Australasian Zoos and Circuses from the 19th and 20th Centuries. This is the first issue produced for non-commercial use for the purposes of research only
The Australasian Zoo & Circus Animal History Journal holds reserached articles on the lost animals from Australasian Zoos and Circuses from the 19th and 20th Centuries. This is the first issue produced for non-commercial use for the purposes of research only

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Published by: Storm Gerome on Apr 11, 2011
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The Australasian Zoo & Circus AnimalsHistorical Journal
Issue 1 April 2011 Stories of the long since forgotten animals formerly in our Australasian Zoos and Circuses FREE to download
OnSeptember171925newsbrokeacrossthenationthataleopard,wasmissingfromherenclosureattheAucklandZoo,andhadbeenforatleastadayorsobeforethenewshadbeenreleased.
A young female leopard, which arrived last week from Indiafor the Auckland Zoo, has escaped from her den, but it is notyet known whether she is lying concealed in the grounds orhas managed to get out of the Zoo enclosure. The animal was not seen in the den yesterday afternoon when an atten-dant visited it to feed her and her mate, but little notice wastaken of her non-appearance; then, as it was thought shewas keeping out of sight.This morning, however, it was discovered that she had disappeared' from the den and a search of the grounds wasimmediately organised, but without any success. Whether shehas escaped from the precincts of the Zoo or not is not yetknown, but at a late hour to-night she had not been located 
.- Evening Post 18 September 1925
ImmediatelytheresidentsofAucklandwereallinapanic,wonderingjustwhenthespottedperilwouldleapoutandgrabthemastheypassedby.Anextensivesearchsoonledthewellarmedwouldbeleopardhunterstoanearbytannery
“….After considerable search the animal was traced to atannery a short distance from the Zoo. As soon as the au-thorities got word of the suspicious tracks a large party wasorganised and the tannery was surrounded and thoroughlysearched Standing at the end of a ridge, the tannery is practi-cally isolated, and on both sides of the ridge the ground fallsaway rapidly, and. except on top is covered with scrub and other growth forming a jungle thick enough to hid a wholefamily of leopards. It was thought, however, that a runawaywhich does not like daylight and prefers to do her foragingafter dark would be sure to be hiding under the (tannerybuildings, which at the back are well off the ground, leaving'quite a lot of room between it and the floor. Two fowlingpieces and a repeating rifle formed the armoury of thesearch party and in addition there were half a dozenbeaters…..” 
Afewmenbravedtheriskofgettinginundertheboardsofthetannerywithtorchestoseeiftherewasanytraceofthemissingleopard“..“..“..“..
Even when one is assured that the leopard; is a more orless gentle sort of animal, and will not attack human beingsunless at bay, it must require a certain amount of pluck totake a torch in your hand, and so rummaging, about in thedark under a tannery floor, and when not quite sure of thecorrect attitude of leopards at bay. Nevertheless, thesearchers dived in between a couple of broken boards and thoroughly ransacked the supposed hiding place. Evidentlysome of them had every faith in the amiability of the missingfeline, for one of them had nothing more formidable than anacetylene lamp which was not very enthusiastic as far as theflame went, and a ti-tree "waddy."“..Another man was content, to put' his trust in a pick han-dle, while yet a third had a long- handled shovel. Several electric torches and the acetylene lamp were reinforced by acouple of huge home-made candles with rope for wick,
InSeptember1925afemaleAsiaticLeopardmadeherescapeInSeptember1925afemaleAsiaticLeopardmadeherescapeInSeptember1925afemaleAsiaticLeopardmadeherescapeInSeptember1925afemaleAsiaticLeopardmadeherescapefromAucklandZoo.ThehuntforthemissingleopardcausedfromAucklandZoo.ThehuntforthemissingleopardcausedfromAucklandZoo.ThehuntforthemissingleopardcausedfromAucklandZoo.ThehuntforthemissingleopardcausedAucklandresidentstosleepuneasilyforalmostamonthwhileAucklandresidentstosleepuneasilyforalmostamonthwhileAucklandresidentstosleepuneasilyforalmostamonthwhileAucklandresidentstosleepuneasilyforalmostamonthwhiletheauthoritiessearchinvainfortheirquarry.25yearslater,intheauthoritiessearchinvainfortheirquarry.25yearslater,intheauthoritiessearchinvainfortheirquarry.25yearslater,intheauthoritiessearchinvainfortheirquarry.25yearslater,in1950,asecondfemaleleopardalsomadeherdashfor1950,asecondfemaleleopardalsomadeherdashfor1950,asecondfemaleleopardalsomadeherdashfor1950,asecondfemaleleopardalsomadeherdashforfreedom.freedom.freedom.freedom.
ATALEOFTWOLEOPARDSATALEOFTWOLEOPARDSATALEOFTWOLEOPARDSATALEOFTWOLEOPARDS
 
 
leopard might be expected, to make a break, but minuteswore on and nothing happened.' By and by the searcherscame, out into the' daylight again, but there was no sign of "the cat." Having convinced themselves that she was notthere, the party put out their candles and lamps, and thenwent' off down the slopes of the ridge on which the tannerystands.
-Evening Post 19 September 1925
Withnosignfoundofthefelineatlargethesearchwassuspended.TheEveningPostreportedon21SeptemberThattheleopardhadalreadyhadfivenightsoflibertywithZooattendantsarmedwithriflesbeingstationedaroundtheareaatstrategicpointsinthehopeperhapsthattheirquarrymightbeyetfound.TheEveningpostthenextdayreportedthatthebigcathadbeenspottedinagardeninMtAlbertbeforeleapingoffandvanishingoutofsight.
The leopard which, escaped from the Auckland Zoo lastweek has evaded all, efforts to capture it. The animal wasseen in a garden at Mount Albert, and made off stealthilyinto neighbouring cover, says a telegram from Auckland. Aclose watch is being kept, and efforts will be made to capturethe animal alive.
- Evening Post 22 September 1925
ConsiderationwasmadeastowhetherortogetoutthehoundsfromthePakurangaHuntClubtotryandflushtherenegadeout.MountedConstableCookandthemasterofthehoundsBullockWebsterwentoverthegroundwheretheleopardwaslastseenanddecidedthegroundwastoorough.
“….A suggestion to use the Pakuranga hounds in. thebroken country where the leopard is supposed to be lurking;was made yesterday, but today Mr. Bullock Webster, masterof hounds, accompanied by Constable Cook, went over theground, and decided that until some definite news of theleopard having been seen in open country was received it,would be useless to think of using the hounds. Where theanimal is, supposed, to be in hiding is very broken-country,in which it would be impossible to use the pack. There arewild cats in the rocky rough' country, and these, animals areoften much larger than domestic cats. “ 
-
Evening Post 24 September 1925
CookwithhisexperienceofspendingtimeinIndiaalsodismissedthenotionthattheleopardhadbeeninthegardenofalocalministerinMtAlbert.
“….Being familiar with the spoor of leopards in India, and after having seen - the mate it the Auckland Zoo, Mounted Constable Cook says he is of opinion that nobody has seenthe missing leopard. He spent some years in India beforecoming to New Zealand …” “...As for the spoor reported at Mount Albert, he never sawanything larger, than that of a good-sized cat…” 
- Evening Post 25 September 1925
Withtimepassingtheleopardstillontheloose,theAucklandCityCouncildecidedtopostarewardonthewaywardcatof£20aliveor£10asacarcass.The
EveningPost
of25Septemberwasquickenoughtonote:-
“..The decision of the Auckland City Council to put a priceon the head of the missing, leopard— £20 alive or £10 as acarcass—makes the capture worth about a shilling a: spot .Itmay help to appease the public mind, but doubtless if the ani-mal or its carcass is not soon recovered an agitation for anincrease in the reward may be anticipated, telegraphs, "ThePost's" correspondent…..” 
A circus of opinions too had begun to circulate as the samereport recounts
“….
One newspaper co-respondent, who signs himself "Wake Up, Auckland writes: "One is inclined to wonder if itis a harmless rabbit that has escaped from our Zoo, by theapparent apathy of the authorities. It is true that the leopard is as yet only a baby, but babies have a habit of growing and if the beast is allowed to remain at large what summer
“It'safarcryfromthewilds,oftheIndianjungleto“It'safarcryfromthewilds,oftheIndianjungleto“It'safarcryfromthewilds,oftheIndianjungleto“It'safarcryfromthewilds,oftheIndianjungletotheAucklandZoo.ThereisatremendoustheAucklandZoo.ThereisatremendoustheAucklandZoo.ThereisatremendoustheAucklandZoo.Thereisatremendousdifference,toobetweenlifethereandhere.“  difference,toobetweenlifethereandhere.“  difference,toobetweenlifethereandhere.“  difference,toobetweenlifethereandhere.““Atalleventsthatisperhapswhatstruckthe“Atalleventsthatisperhapswhatstruckthe“Atalleventsthatisperhapswhatstruckthe“Atalleventsthatisperhapswhatstruckthefemaleleopardwhicharrivedatthenortherncapi- femaleleopardwhicharrivedatthenortherncapi- femaleleopardwhicharrivedatthenortherncapi- femaleleopardwhicharrivedatthenortherncapi- tallastweekaboardtheSussexfromtallastweekaboardtheSussexfromtallastweekaboardtheSussexfromtallastweekaboardtheSussexfromCalcutta.”  Calcutta.”  Calcutta.”  Calcutta.”“Shewasinhernewquartersincaptivityforonly“Shewasinhernewquartersincaptivityforonly“Shewasinhernewquartersincaptivityforonly“Shewasinhernewquartersincaptivityforonlytwodayswhenshedisappearedandwasnotseentwodayswhenshedisappearedandwasnotseentwodayswhenshedisappearedandwasnotseentwodayswhenshedisappearedandwasnotseenforaweekafterwards.”  foraweekafterwards.”  foraweekafterwards.”  foraweekafterwards.”
----
NZTruthNZTruthNZTruthNZTruth
26September192526September192526September192526September1925
 
picnic grounds are going to be safe? Are we to wait until ababy or a valued Persian cat or Pomeranian has been takenand devoured before definite and systematic action istaken?..."“Another correspondent writes: "May I point out the dangerof keeping leopard in any open to the sky enclosure? Noother wild animal approaches them in climbing powers; theycan run up the smoothest and straightest tree trunk and will scale a rock precipice that would baffle a wild goat, whiletheir springing powers are tremendous. At large they, areprobably the most destructive and dangerous of all predatoryanimals."
-
Evening Post 25 September 1925
InitsowntypicalfashionWellingtonbasedNZTruthlaunchedascathingcriticism,oftheseeminglylackofability,onthepartofAucklandZooandtheAucklandCityCounciltoapprehendthefelinepredatorbeforeseemingly,shemighttakesomeunsuspectingresidentinthedarknessandusethemashernextmeal.Withtheheadliner“
WHATHAVETHEAUCKLANDZOOWHATHAVETHEAUCKLANDZOOWHATHAVETHEAUCKLANDZOOWHATHAVETHEAUCKLANDZOOOFFICIALSTOSAYABOUTTHELEOPARD'SESCAPE?”OFFICIALSTOSAYABOUTTHELEOPARD'SESCAPE?”OFFICIALSTOSAYABOUTTHELEOPARD'SESCAPE?”OFFICIALSTOSAYABOUTTHELEOPARD'SESCAPE?”
emblazonedinboldlargetypeonthepagethe
NZTruth’s
Aucklandcorrespondentintheirarticleof25SeptemberproceededtowritealongwindedacidiccriticismoftheZooauthorities.
“What are the Auckland Zoo Authorities thinking about ? Re-sponsible for the care of a number of wild beasts they appear to take their responsibilities m safeguarding the public, to saythe least, somewhat casually. If not, why is it possible for afemale Leopard to escape from captivity and roam at large tothe imminent peril of citizens ? “
Hewrites,beforelaunchingademandforexplanationstobemadeatonceforthelackofsafetyconcernfortheresidentswithinthevicinityofwheresaidleopardwassupposedtobelurking.WithacertainlythatAuckland’scitizenswereinperilthewriterdemandedonbehalfofhispublication-
“...“...“...“...
Truth demands that the Zoo authorities shall take steps tosee that in future the safety of people, children especially, isnot set at nought by any carelessness that enables junglebeasts to roam at large. ..” 
Referringtotheleopardas‘TheSpottedFury’theNZTruthreporterhadafielddayinhisattacksoftheAuck-landZoocallingthemnovicesasintheparagraphbelow
ZOO RUN BY NOVICES.
“The fact of the matter is that the Zoo is m the hands of more or less novices. Its control and administration form asort of tripartite arrangement in which the Town Cleric, thetaxidermist of the museum and. a supervisor play a role. “ “Even though it is a £77,000 civic venture, it is not governed by any person who has had an extensive experience in thehandling of wild animals— at least of wild animals beforethey become corpses. And the curator is a half-time official.A gigantic undertaking like that at Auckland 'surely meritsthe services of a thoroughly experienced zoologist. In fact, asthe present occurrence shows the safety of the publicdemands it..” “The position as at present is farcical.. A taxidermist incharge of a Zoo is akin to an undertaker in charge of ahospital. At all events it is no recommendation for those mcharge that m the tactics adopted to endeavor to recover theleopard many of those m the hunt did not know what theywere to do should they come across their quarry. Theorganisation was at times on the lines of a pantomimeextravaganza….” 
It seemed the leopard was being seen everywhere in the areaas the Truth went on to claim several alarms had been raisedduring the course of the days the leopard was supposed to beroaming the countryside
The fact that the wife of ' the Rev. A. J. Beck, of St. Luke'svicarage (just across the road), had seen fresh spoor marksm her cabbage plot, would seem to confirm the impressionthat "the jungle fiend is m the vicinity. The district is closelyinhabited, and there are many children, while there are theMt. Albert Grammar and Mt. Albert district schools m theneighborhood. When it was reported that the leopard had been sighted, beating operation's were at once transferred,and the whole surroundings were thoroughly disturbed, butnary a sign of the escapee. On Tuesday another scare wasraised when it was reported that the animal had again beenseen just behind the Baptist Chapel, which almost adjoinsthe Grammar School. The country is rocky, but is heavilyovergrown by bracken, gorse and fern. When the beaters had made an unsuccessful raid they were retiring from the sceneof the reported whereabouts of their prey when anotheralarm was sent out. .ATTEMPT AT CREMATION.
Photo of one of the traps set to catch the missing leopard—NZ Truth 26 September 1925

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