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(and John. J. Boyd’s “Royal Oak Zoo”)
Work in progress continuous updates
This Revision dated 17 March 2013
OCR Errors still present.
Compiled by Elizabeth Clark
The Royal Oak Zoo (Opened 2nd
The Wanganui Chronicle reports John J. Boyd has purchased
land in Espom, Auckland. Boyd had in fact purchased land in
Onehunga in Auckland.1
Mr J. Boyd, the proprietor of the Aramoho Zoo, has completed the purchase of a
property at Epsom, Auckland, where he has commenced the establishment of a Zoo.
Boyd offers his Aramoho Zoo to the Wanganui Borough
Council for £10,000 and required an early reply. He informed
the Borough Council that if they did not purchase his zoo
then he would remove his collection to Auckland. The
Borough Council declined Boyd’s offer2
THE ZOO.—From Mr J. J. Boyd, stating .that as he intends to establish a Zoo at
Auckland, he would sell the Aramoho Zoo to the Borough Council for £10,000. Ha
wished an early reply for, in the event of the Council not buying the Zoo, lie would
remove it to Auckland.—it was decided to inform Mr Boyd that the Council had no
intention of purchasing the zoo.
The Auckland Star reports ‘Auckland will have an
independent zoo of its own shortly’. The article also
indicates that Boyd did not have any animals at the
Onehunga site he had purchased in February. 3
A ZOO FOR AUCKLAND.
Auckland will probably have an independent zoo of its own shortly, when; the
visiting circus zoos will find that they are at a discount. Mr J. J. Boyd, proprietor of
the Aramoho Zoological Gardens offered the zoo to the Wanganui Borough Council
for the sum of £10,000. In doing so, he stated that if the offer was not taken advantage
of, he would remove the animals to Auckland. The price was considered prohibitive at
Wanganui, and in pursuance of his determination to bring the collection of animals to
Auckland, it is stated that Mr Boyd has bought six acres of land at Onehunga.
The Auckland Star further elaborates on the future Royal
Oak Zoo plans and Boyd’s zoological collection which was
some 600 animals and birds housed at his Aramoho Zoo in
The list included:
African Love Birds
Parrots (various species)
Up to the present the only opportunity Auckland children have had of getting a
practical knowledge of wild beasts has been at the menageries of occasional circuses,
but now Mr A. Boyd, the proprietor of a large zoo at Wanganui, has decided to bring
his valuable collection of animals to Auckland, and to establish a permanent zoo here.
Some six acres of land have been acquired in Symonds Street, Onehunga, and
elaborate arrangements are being made for the housing of the animals. A strong wall
seven feet in height is to be built around the grounds, so that there will be no danger
of any of the animals breaking loose.
The zoo was started some years ago by Mr Boyd on a small scale, but there is now a
-fine and representative collection of some six. hundred birds and animals, including
Bengal tigers, leopards, lions, Himalaya and Russian bears, hyenas, wallabies,
kangaroos, emus, fallow deer, 50 monkeys, Indian cranes, peacocks, love-birds and
many varieties of the parrot family. There are also two eagles, which are the only ones
ever brought into New Zealand, and over the introduction of which, it will be
remembered, Mr Boyd had a big fight with the Customs Department a year or two
ago. It will be a costly undertaking to bring the zoo from Wanganui to Auckland, as it
is estimated that it will take a steamer from Wanganui two trips to bring up all the
animals. Mr Boyd considers that when the zoo is in running order here it will be
worth from fifteen to twenty thousand pounds. Special provision is being made for
school picnics, and there will be tea rooms ion the grounds. The zoological gardens
are to be lit with arc gas lamps, and the zoo will be an established institution within
The Auckland Star reports that builders have been engaged
for ‘some time’ in building the enclosures for housing the
animals to be transferred from the Aramoho Zoo in
Wanganui. The report also stated that Boyd had dispelled
rumours that the zoo would not be coming to Auckland. It
appears that none collection of 600 birds and animals were
not present on the Onehunga site5
ZOO FOR AUCKLAND.
It is stated a little while back, it is proposed to establish a very fine zoo at Onehunga,
consisting of over 600 beasts and birds of all kinds. The proprietor, Mr. Boyd, is a
collector, who takes a big interest in matters, of the kind, and he has completed all
arrangements for the removal of his collection at Wanganui to Auckland. He recently
acquired a site of five acres of freehold land in Symonds-street, Onehunga, near
the Royal Oak, and the builders have been engaged for some time past making
arrangements for the housing of the animals.
Opposition to the proposal has sprung up, however; in the nature of a protest from the
residents of the locality, who have presented a petition to the Onehunga Borough
Council, complaining that the establishment of the zoo may constitute a nuisance.
To-morrow, the members of the Council visit the site, and consider the question of
issuing a permit for the location of the zoo on the site in question.
The statement has been published that the idea of bringing the zoo to Auckland has
been abandoned. Mr. Boyd telegraphed from Wanganui this morning that there was
absolutely no ground for such an assertion, and the zoo will be brought to Auckland as
soon as the cages are ready. In. the event of the Onehunga Borough Council refusing a
permit for the site in Symonds-street it is suggested that a suitable site might possibly
be leased in Cornwall Park
The Auckland Star reports that Boyd is travelling from
Wanganui to Onehunga with a lion cub born at Aramoho Zoo 6
Mr. J. J.Boyd, of the Aramoho Zoo, will arrive in Onehunga by the Auckland express
on Tuesday morning. Mr. Boyd is bringing the cub lion that was bred at the Aramoho
John Boyd heads to Onehunga with his family to supervise
the erection of buildings at the Onehunga Zoo site. 7
Mr and Mrs J. J. Boyd, Sen., and Miss Boyd left by the Main Trunk train on Monday
for Auckland. Mr. Boyd is to superintend the erection of the buildings for the
The Onehunga Borough Council decides to take action
against Boyd for erecting enclosures and structures without
Onehunga has decided to take action against Mr J. J. Boyd for erecting cages, etc. for
the purpose of a zoo without a permit. A letter was received from the Public Health
Officer stating that no permit would be granted for bringing the animals into the
district unless the resolutions were strictly carried out. The Department had ample
power in the matter under the Public Health Act of 1908, and would stringently
enforce the laws in the matter.
Operations at the Onehunga Zoo are halted until an
agreement is reached with the Health Board authorities.
Polar bears were noted as being on their way from England. 9
Operations at the Onehunga Zoo are at a standstill. The elaborate plans of the
proposed gardens have been placed in the hands of Mr. Boyd's solicitors and as soon
as some satisfactory agreement can be made with the Health Department authorities,
the work will proceed apace. As well as the Zoo itself, a scheme of gardens has been
arranged, with croquet lawns and a large and up-to-date tea-room is to be built over
the main entrance. A few of the animals from the Aramoho Zoo have arrived at
Onehunga, and two Polar bears are on their way out from England, As yet, none of the
bigger animals have been brought up, but among the number already here is a cub
The Auckland Star reports that the Zoological Gardens at
Onehunga are soon to be opened. 10
…The zoological gardens at Onehunga are shortly to be thrown open to inspection by
the public. The grounds have been nicely laid out, and Mr. John Hartwell, who is
representing the proprietor, Mr. J. J. Boyd, states that boat swings, tennis courts,
croquet lawns, and facilities for other outdoor amusements will be provided. Mr.
Boyd who arrives in Auckland next Wednesday, has written to state that many new
animals (both wild and domestic) are now on their way out from Hamburg. Other
attractions, including musical programmes, and a delightful moving picture show—
the first of its kind to be shown in Auckland add to the attractions of the zoo…
The first advert appears in the Auckland Star that the Zoo is
Admission charges were Adults 6d. and Children 3d.11
Horses and Vehicles and Motor Cars free in the Onehunga. Zoo. Adults 6d, Children
3d. Plenty of feed.
Boyd advertises that the Onehunga (Royal Oak Zoo) is now
opened every day12
WANTED KNOWN. WANTED Known—Onehunga Zoo opened every day, Sunday
included; where you spend a pleasant time.
Boyd advertises that the Onehunga Zoo is open every day
WANTED. Known—Onehunga Zoo opened every day, Sunday included; where you
spend a pleasant time.
A report appears (October 31st) that two baby lemurs were
born from animals imported directly from Madagascar.14
The latest additions to the Onehunga Zoo are two little baby lemurs. They were born
yesterday. Mr. Boyd imported four large ones from Madagascar some time ago.
Closure of John J. Boyd’s Royal Oak Zoo
Transfer of last remaining animals (not
previously sold to other individuals) to
the Auckland City Council.
Auckland Zoological Gardens opens (16
Permission granted to Boyd to place animals and birds at
Wellington (Newtown) Zoo15
Permission is to be granted to Mr. J. J Boyd to place certain of his animals and birds
in the-Newtown Zoo, during the pleasure of the City Council, subject to the conditions
being approved by the Reserves Committee, and provided the Corporation is fully
indemnified against liability in respect of loss or damage to or by the exhibits.
Animals advertised as part of an auction for the Royal Oak
Zoo (also advertised earlier on May 6)16
2 Shackleton’s Polar Dogs
3 Pet Donkeys
‘A lot of tame rabbits and guinea pigs’
Animals noted in the Boyd Collection as being sold off
...the collection of animals and birds whose carolling so offended the residents of
Onehunga has gradually been disposed of….
…a lady in the country purchased a number of the birds and ever entertaining
monkeys, and the collection has created quite a novelty in her district…
….It was pointed out that there were to be obtained from the Boyd Collection eleven
lions, six bears, two wolves, and two dogs that took part in an earlier Shackleton
From “The Zoo War”
The “lady in the country” appears to have been a Miss Brittain of
Having purchased from Mr. Boyd, of Onehunga Zoo, the remainder of his monkeys
(17), deer, donkeys, emu, kea, mackaw, fancy birds, and those handsome pairs of
American eagles Mr. Boyd informs me cost him £300. I will lend FREE the whole of
the above to any charitable organisation. Can be seen here by appointment with my
dogs (30), Persian cats, guinea pigs, and Angora rabbits, fancy pigeons, guinea
fowls, fancy bantams, ducks, fowls and goats.” 
A deputation headed by the Hon. George Fowlds, the Rev. Jasper Calder and Mr.
Laidlaw of Farmers store fame, waited on the Auckland City Council on 15 June, to
present their case for the establishment of a municipal zoo in Auckland. They offered
a site suggestion (One Tree Hill) and pointed out that the Boyd collection of (at that
point) 11 lions, 6 bears, 2 wolves and the 2 dogs from the Shackleton expedition could
be obtained. In the Mayor’s opinion: “the position had very much changed since the
council last had this question before it, and after mature thought he was of the
opinion the council should go into it again. The collection was a unique one …”
Auckland City Council takes an option for the purchase of
the remaining animals left at the Royal Oak Zoo, the rest of
Boyd’s extensive collection had been sold into private
hands. Auckland City Council took the option on the animals
Boyd had not been able to sell. These were 11 African Lions,
6 Bears, 2 Indian Wolves (Dohl) and two mixed breed Sledge
dogs from the surviving animals that came from the Ross
The Onehunga Borough Council refused to allow Boyd to keep the carnivores at the
Royal Oak facility.
The City Council has taken an option for two months of the right to purchase eleven
lions, six bears, two wolves and two dogs, at present located in the Onehunga Zoo.
Last night the Onehunga Council was asked to allow, the animals to remain where
they are until such time as the City Council may require, if they exercise their option
to place the matter of completing the purchase before the city ratepayers next month.
The request evoked a long and animated discussion, during which councillors made it
quite clear, that they were in sympathy with the City Council's proposal to have a zoo,
but the Onehunga Council, they said, had no power to grant Mr. Boyd a permit to
keep his lions in the borough for two months in face of their by-law.
It was suggested that the council should refuse a. permit, and wink at the animals
remaining in the borough for a time; Another suggestion was that the borough
solicitors should be asked to advise the council before replying to the request. Finally
the following resolution was adopted:—
"That this council cannot grant Mr. Boyd a permit to keep his lions, and other animals
in the borough for two months."
Mayor Gunson reports to the Auckland City Council members
on the proposal for the new Auckland Zoological Gardens.
The proposals in the report were adopted. 19
STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR.
.PROPOSAL, ENDORSED BY COUNCIL.
The proposal to acquire the Onehunga Zoo for Auckland and establish it at the
Western Springs, Grey Lynn, was again referred to at a meeting of the City Council
last evening. In a report the Mayor said that in view of the fact that the poll would be
taken before the next meeting of the council, it was desired to emphasise the proposal,
the chief points of which were:
(1) The acquirement of animals from the Boyd Zoo for the sum of £800.
(2) The proportion and laying out of an adequate area of land at the Western Springs,
Grey Lynn, for the purpose of public recreation grounds and zoological gardens. If the
poll was carried, the work would be put in hand at once, and the nucleus of the zoo
would be established at an early date.
The amount of £10,000 would cover the cost of the animals referred to, but would be
principally expended in making the area suitable for the purpose, which would mean
that the grounds would be attractive as well as prepared to accommodate the animals.
It was chiefly labour, so at this time would afford valuable further employment. It
would be impossible to suitably carry on an interest of this kind without the area
being so dealt with.
It was estimated that the sum of £10,000 would sufficiently enable the council to
establish the zoo in a manner that would be creditable to the city and acceptable to the
Thereafter the revenue from the undertaking should not only maintain it, but provide a
sum sufficient to cover interest and charges on the loan.
There was every reason to confidently anticipate, based on the Onehunga results, and
the additional attractiveness of the grounds, that this result would be attained, in
which case the provision of £10.000 would be made without any cost to the
Further the extra attractions should ensure patronage to produce revenue to enable the
purchase of additional and suitable animals from time to time. The council was
submitting the proposal to the ratepayers with its endorsement.
The property was easily accessible. It could be reached both from the Old Mill Road
near the Grey Lynn tram terminus within half a mile of the present car line (and if
warranted a tram extension can readily be made thereto) and also was readily
accessible within half a mile of the Great North Road, Point Chevalier (at the Old
With the growth of Auckland no doubt in. years to corns this area would be served by
tram connection. The area, notwithstanding its easy accessibility to citizens and
visitors, had the advantage of being in a secluded locality, and in its contour was well
adapted for the purpose.
Councillor Robertson said that the proposal had his full support he thought no better
site than the one proposed could be acquired.
Councillor Baildon agreed, and said that he hoped the proposal would be sanctioned
by the ratepayers. The council had not worked up much enthusiasm yet, and he
thought that it should go in for propaganda work. It should advertise on the tram car.
The Mayor: We should bring the lions in on the day of the poll. (Laughter.) Councillor
Hutchinson said that some prominent citizens were making inquiries about certain
animals to present to the zoo if the proposal was carried. If suitable cages were
provided, and this was known, he was sure that through gifts Auckland would soon
have a very fine collection of animals.
Councillors Bloodworth and Holdsworth both thought that the zoo should be
The report was adopted.
The Auckland public votes to have a new zoo established in
Auckland after John. J. Boyd the owner of the Royal Oak Zoo
had offered the remaining animals in the collection to
Auckland City Council.20
(By TELEGRAM— PRESS ASSOCIATION ) AUCKLAND. July 25.
A poll on a proposal to raise £10,000 for the establishment of a zoo of which £800 is
for the purchase of the animals in Boyd's zoo at Onehunga, was counted by 2454
votes to 1013.
The Onehunga Zoo has been the subject of considerable litigation, as the proprietors
contested a by-law passed by the Borough Council prohibiting the keeping of wild
Hawera & Normanby Star 27 July 1922
Noted in the Parks Committee Minutes that Joseph Hurley
had applied for the position of Caretaker and Keeper at the
future Auckland Zoo21
Parks Committee authorises the planting of 1150 native
trees and ‘hardy eucalypts which would also be planted’.
The Parks Superintendent was to oversee the work with 10
returned soldiers employed to do the tree plantings. The
minute also mentions an expert from Sydney if his services
could be secured to “report upon and plan the general
The Parks Committee made investigations as to whether it
was best to temporarily provide for the animals at Western
Springs or at another location. A recommendation is made
to take up the option to purchase the last remaining animals
from the Boyd collection a day prior to the expiry date of
21st August 1922. 23
NZ Truth editorial reports on the ratepayers of Auckland
voting in favour of a new municipal zoo being established.
Aucklanders, having decided that they should have a zoo, it is to be hoped that the
attraction will be no slip-shod affair, but that the municipal body will leave no stone
unturned to make the zoo one of the chief features of the Queen City.
Whatever money the council will have to disburse in connection with the
establishment of the zoo, the site for which has been at the Western Springs, will no
doubt be eaten up in the laying out of the grounds, the forming of miniature lakes, and
erection of cages for the animals and birds. It will, therefore, depend in no small,
measure upon the assistance given by those able to do so m presenting an animal or
bird as the case may be.
Already promises have been made and the thanks of Auckland area should be
extended to Mr. John Court, who has promised to donate an elephant. Mr. Court is one
of Auckland's and New Zealand's most prominent drapers, and a successful business
man; but he is one of, those who never fails to respond if the cause is a genuine one.
Apparently the fatherly trail is strong within him, because it was he who provided the
bars, swings, slides, etc., now at Victoria Park and so much used and enjoyed by the
kiddies of the city. His "heart must be in 'em" as the saying goes, because, in making
his offer to provide the zoo with a "Jumbo," he made it clear that he did so on the
condition that the children for 12 months were to be provided with free rides on the
elephant. There is an old proverb which sets out that a man can be judged by the
company he keeps, but 'Truth" prefers the man whose heart goes out to the children,
and this applies to Mr. John Court.
Young Aucklanders should be proud of him.
NZ Truth 5 August 1922
The Director of Taronga Park Zoological Gardens advises he
is unable to visit Auckland Zoo. Good progress is reported
being made on the new Auckland Zoo site at Western
Springs. The sum of £800 is allocated for the purchase of the
animals in the Boyd Collection at Royal Oak Zoo. 24
SYDNEY EXPERT UNABLE TO COME. INVITATION TO AUCKLAND
OFFICIAL. GOOD PROGRESS AT THE SITE.
The Mayor, Mr. J. H. Gunson, has received a cablegram from the director of the
Sydney Zoo, stating that he is unable to accept the invitation of the city council to
visit Auckland. In the same message the Sydney zoological garden authorities suggest
that an official should be sent across to study the Taronga Park, which is the zoo area,
remarking that such an official could get into touch with those responsible for the
construction of the Taronga Park, and obtain such advice and information as would
tend to the better achievement of the council's object. "The council has given the
parks committee power to act in connection with the development of the zoo plans
and the general layout," said the Mayor j this morning, "but this question of policy is
so important that the council t will be asked again on Thursday night to give a further
direction as to what is to be done in this matter.
PUSHING ON PRELIMINARIES.
"Considerable progress is being made with the preliminary work. The fencing lines
are well defined now, and the clearing is being completed. There are sixteen men
engaged upon this work. Tenders are being invited for the fencing, and these will be
advertised in Thursday evening's "Star” while specifications and conditions may be
seen at the Town Hall on and after Friday.
There will be two classes of fencing, for which separate tenders are being called, one
being for a rubble stone wall of about twenty chains in length, and the other for a
close iron fence of about forty chains. Both the wall and the fence will be seven feet
high. There can be only one entrance to the zoo at the outset, as it is impossible, for an
entrance to be provided, on economic grounds, on both frontages.
The committee will determine at the time or their next visit where the entrance is to be
located. A considerable quantity of planting will be done during the next few weeks in
a wide shelter belt, as it is essential to get this shelter to create suitable climatic
conditions within the area. The committee is determined that this shelter belt round
the property shall be a hundred feet wide. The parks superintendent, Mr. Pearson, has
now in stock suitable trees for this work.
On Friday morning the city engineer and Mr. Griffin, assistant curator of the
Auckland Museum, will visit the animals at the Onehunga Zoo site, and will then
submit a report for the consideration of the committee as to the necessary provision
for their temporary housing.
AVAILABLE IN THREE MONTHS.
"It will be about three months 'before the zoo grounds can be rendered available for
them. The fencing, which is essential to place the area under control and effective
management, will take two months from the start of the work, for which tenders will
be closed on August 22. Nothing can be said about the interior layout or preparation
of the grounds until the question of the visit to Sydney is determined and the parks
superintendent .has submitted his recommendations. But no time: will be lost, and the
project will be advanced with all possible speed. We have, as previously announced,
already received promise of several valuable donations in animals, and any further
gifts of this nature from citizens for the initial collection of the zoo will be
"The poll of the ratepayers for this undertaking authorised a £10,000 loan. Of this
sum £800 will he expended on the purchase of the Boyd collection, and practically the
whole of the balance of the money will go for the development of the grounds and
layout. There is no doubt whatever that the area, when finished, will be a very great
attraction and a useful addition to the city's parks and public gardens."
Auckland City Council set a date of 22 August to take over
John J. Boyd’s animals housed at the former Royal Oak Zoo
Planting already begun of 1150 native trees25
In advancement of the Zoological Gardens scheme at Western Springs, the City
Council last night intimated that the animals of Mr. Boyd's zoo be taken over on
August 20. In the meantime arrangements are being made to temporarily house them,
and tenders are to be invited for the erection of suitable boundary fences at the Zoo.
Already men have been employed for the planting of about 1150 native trees on the
John J. Boyd writes to the Mayor of Auckland requesting jobs
for Edward Boyd (his son) and John Hurley. Boyd also
detailed the list of animals to be transferred over to the City
Council as follows:26
11 African Lions (8 Lionesses and 3 Lions)
1 Russian Bear (Large Male)
1 Himalayan Bear (female)
4 American Black Bears (1 male,3 female)
2 Indian Wolves (Dohl)
1 “Esquimaux Dog” (male)
1 “Wolf Dog” (female)
The two dogs were claimed to be from Shackleton’s
expedition to the Antarctic.
On 15 August, J. J. Boyd wrote to the Mayor, asking that his son Edward and John
Hurley both be given jobs to care for the animals at the new zoo. In the same letter
was a list of animals to be transferred over to the City Council:
11 pure-bred African Lions (8 lionesses and 3 lions) from 6½ to 9 years old. These
would have been Boyd’s performing lions from the travelling zoo.
1 large male Russian bear
1 Himalayan bear (female)
4 Black American bears (1 male, 3 female)
2 pure-bred Indian Wolves
1 “Esquimaux dog” (male) and 1 Wolf Dog (female). These would have been the two
dogs from Shackleton’s expedition, property of the NZ Government according to
Boyd’s letter, and loaned for exhibition purposes. 
Members of the Parks Committee visit the property of J.J.
Boyd to accept the option of purchasing the remaining
animals in the collection. E. E. Boyd and J. Hurley are
appointed to take up the care of the animals housed at the
former Royal Oak Zoological Gardens. Arrangements were
also made for the use of the plant etc at the property. 27
A Seal is donated to the future Auckland Zoological Gardens.
The animal was housed temporarily at the Auckland Domain
The benevolent interest that is being shown in the Auckland Zoo gives promise of a
good flying start for the municipal collection when it is opened to the public about the
end of the year. In addition to the animals that have already been donated offers of
others have been made by several leading citizens, while several gifts of animals and
birds have been made or promised by country residents. The latest donation from the
country came along on Tuesday in the shape of a seal, sent from the West Coast. This
future resident of the Zoo is being temporarily accommodated in the Domain
Acceptance of the delivery of animals from J.J. Boyd’s Zoo
(Royal Oak Zoo)
The acceptance of delivery of the animals in Mr. Boyd's collection for the Auckland
Zoo was formally reported to the Auckland City Council on Friday by the Parks
Committee as having taken place on Tuesday. Messrs. Boyd and J. Hurley have been
jointly appointed to the charge of the animals.
Evening Post 28 August 1922
Permission granted to the Auckland Zoo by the Minister of
Internal Affairs to maintain a kiwi in captivity. 29
Replying to the Hon. G. M. Thomson, the Leader of the Council stated that the
Auckland City Council had received permission to keep a kiwi in captivity in the
Evening Post 6 September 1922
Announcement by Auckland City Council (19 October
meeting) that the new Auckland Zoo is to be opened by the
Governor-General (Lord Jellicoe) in mid-December 1922
Ernest Davies offers to donate a turtle he had brought over
from Suva, Fiji.30
TO BE OPENED IN DECEMBER. The Auckland City Zoo is to be opened by the
Governor-General about the middle of December. This announcement was made to
the City Council last night by the Mayor, when stated that Lord Jellicoe had consented
to be present at the opening ceremony and to address the citizens.
His Worship recommended that on that day all citizens be admitted free to the zoo,
that all school children have a special invitation to the ceremony, and that members of
all other local bodies in the Auckland district be invited to be present.
Mr. Gunson stated that it was expected to get the work at the zoo finished by
Reporting on progress, Mr.T. A. Warnock stated that it seemed to him to be assured
that the work at the park in Grey Lynn would be finished by the time stated by the
Mr. Ernest Davis inquired if the committee had considered the matter of an aquarium,
and on being informed that this phase of a modern zoological garden had received
attention, he replied that he would contribute to the zoo a turtle which he had brought
Due to space restrictions Auckland City Council sells two
young lionesses from the Boyd collection to a Sydney buyer.
The animals left Auckland on the ss Makura on November 10
The one department in which the Auckland city zoo, recently acquired from Mr. Boyd
is overstocked is that of the lions, which have proved to be prolific in captivity, and in
order to relieve the congestion of space for these animals, the council has arranged to
dispose of some of them. Two young lionesses have been sold to a Sydney buyer, and
today they were shipped on the s.s. Makura for their new home in Australia
Zoo Admission charges are set by the Auckland City
ADMISSION CHARGES. The important question of charges for admission to the
Auckland Zoo was brought up at the City Council meeting last night, when it was
suggested by the Mayor that the charge for adults be 1/, and for children under 16, 3d.
After a discussion, the charges for admission, after the date of opening (December 17)
was fixed as follows: Adults 1/, children I under 16 3d, 3 years and under free.
Admission on opening day will be free.
An Emu is presented by Reverend Jasper Calder . The bird
was housed at the Onehunga (Royal Oak) Zoo until is could
be transferred to the new Auckland Zoo33
…The Rev. Jasper Calder has presented an emu to the Zoo, and until the Zoo is
opened, the animal will be kept at Onehunga….
Approval given by The Marine Department to obtain Sea
Lions from the south
(These were Enderby Island Seals)
(Evening Post 4 December 1922)34
The proposal to secure two or three sea lions from the Southern Island for the
Auckland Zoo has been approved by the Marine Department. A communication,
received by the City Council from that department stated that the Tutanekai would
probably be proceeding to the Island in February, and, that the master of the vessel
would obtain the animals if it were possible to do so.
The Mayor, Mr. J. H. Gunson, said the council had one sea lion at present in the
Domain, and the Marine Department's action was in response to a request that it
should endeavour to procure a few more.
The official opening ceremony of the Auckland Zoological
Gardens takes place in the afternoon. A plaque in the
Auckland Zoo grounds states the Zoo was opened on 17th
December 1922. However the official opening ceremony took
place on a Saturday afternoon the day before (16 December)
as reported by the Auckland Star.35
OPENED THIS AFTERNOON. CITY'S NEW ASSET.
Despite the threatening weather and frequent light showers, numerous people to
Western Springs this afternoon to witness the official opening of the new Zoo by the
Governor-General. Lord Jellicoe, who was accompanied by Lady Jellicoe and suite.
In inviting the Governor-General to perform the opening ceremony, the Mayor. Mr. J.
H. Gunson, said:
"We are assembled to-day in connection with an undertaking of which six months
ago we did not have any idea. The proposal for a zoological park for Auckland has
been originated and developed to its, present initial stage within the last six months.
We are greatly honoured today by the presence of their Excellencies the GovernorGeneral and Lady Jellicoe. His Excellency has consented to open the zoological
grounds for the citizens of Auckland. As his Excellency is the distinguished
representative of the British Crown, we wish to extend our respectful tribute of loyalty
and regard from the Council and the citizens of Auckland. The authority to establish
this zoological park was obtained from the ratepayers in July last. The site was then
selected and 31 acres of the City Council’s Western Springs Water Reserve has been
set aside for the purpose, and when this area has been developed it will be possible to
considerably extend it in accordance with future requirements. The animals in the
collection were purchased from the Boyd collection at Onehunga. On the purchase of
the animals, the preparation of the ground, etc. £12,200 has been expended. The
grounds at the present time are in a very preparatory stage of development, but it will
be the policy of the Council from time to time to gradually add to the collection and to
further improve the attractiveness of the grounds. 'The Council has already received
several valuable gifts towards the, collection, chief among which is an elephant from
Mr. John Court and this is being brought out from India. It is proposed that a
zoological society be formed, with a view to developing further interest in and
assisting the further extension of the zoo. The Council looks upon this innovation as
one of great educative value to the community, especially to the children, and
furthermore it is a distinct asset to the city by way of the further attractive feature it
will provide for visitors from other parts of the Dominion and from abroad."
The Governor-General made the official declaration of opening, after a short and
pleasing speech of characteristic sympathy and humour. The National Anthem was
then sung and the people dispersed for an inspection of the animals and grounds.
A tribute was made by all to the wonderful amount of work accomplished in so short
a time under the direction of Councillor Baildon Chairman of the Works Committee
and Councillor Warnock, chairman of the parks committee.
The Auckland Star (3 January 1923) gives an update on the
new zoo three weeks after its opening.
Earnings were reported from the 17 December 1922 for the
period the zoo had been opened as being £343 3/6 up to
January 2, 1923. Negotiations were underway for the
purchase of an elephant from Calcutta 36
Although it is less than three weeks since the opening day, the Auckland Zoo is
already establishing itself in public favour as an open-air resort, especially for those
who have little folk to entertain.
For such the advantages of the recreation space at the new gardens near the Western
Springs, with so powerful an auxiliary attraction as real live animals of the jungle and
forest prowling fiercely but safe in their spacious den, make a strong appeal in the
The takings at the turnstiles since December 17, when a charge for admission was
begun, have amounted to £343 3/6, which represents a daily average, wet and fine, of
This should be considered quite satisfactory, bearing in mind that the zoo, as a zoo, is
only in its swaddling clothes, and will become rapidly more attractive both in the
matter of its denizens and the layout and beautification of the grounds.
Negotiations are now in progress with people in Calcutta respecting the elephant
which Mr. John Court is preready been made to repair the loss of the sea lion, which
unfortunately died the day before the opening, and two young deer will also shortly be
added to the collection.
During the past holiday week the attendance was fairly large on one or two occasions,
especially Christmas Day, when £75 was taken, the biggest gate so far experienced,
next in order being last Sunday, New Year's Eve, when the sum of £49 2/9 was taken.
Had Boxing Day and New Year's Day been fine the total would undoubtedly have
been swelled substantially. The receipts yesterday amounted to £25 9/6.
The animals at present in the Zoo are all in the pink of condition, and the general
appearance of the grounds is being improved daily.
John J. Boyd advertises sections for sale on Kingston Avenue
in the Royal Oak Zoo Estate Subdivision. (Auckland Star 13
ROYAL OAK ZOO ESTATE FOR SALE. Fine Big Sections; easy terms: new street,
Kingston Avenue: drain, gas, water Small deposit.— J. J. BOYD. Royal Oak Zoo
Smith and Caughey Ltd donate a tiger cat, a pair of
Tasmanian Devils, a pair of Racoons, a Wombat, and Agouti,
seven Macaque monkeys, and a donkey. H. E Vaile offers two
ostriches. Mayor Gunson reports that Messrs. Hutchinson
Bros., Ltd., and Mr. S. I. Crookes had also offered to make
substantial donations to the collection and were taking
steps to secure from abroad some suitable animal or
animals. Gunson also advised the Reserves Committee that
a ‘private gentleman’ was leaving for overseas and
requested the sum of £500 to be placed at his disposal for
the purchase of animals for the new zoo. The Reserves
Committee authorised the funds.
(Auckland Star 26 January 1922)38
FOURTEEN ANIMALS DONATED.
MORE TO BE OBTAINED ABROAD.
Gifts for the Auckland Zoo are coming to hand freely, for last evening a letter was
received by the City Council from Messrs. Smith and Caughey, Ltd., stating that they
had just purchased and were donating to the council a tiger cat, a pair of Tasmanian
Devils, a pair of Racoons, a Wombat, an Agouti, seven Macaque monkeys and a
Mr. H. E. Vaile wrote offering two ostriches.
The gifts were accepted and the donors thanked. The Mayor (Mr. J. H. Gunson), in a
report, stated that Messrs. Hutchinson Bros., Ltd., and Mr. S. I. Crookes had also
offered to make substantial donations to the collection and were taking steps to secure
from abroad some suitable animal or animals.
He had called together recently members of the parks committee in connection with
an opportunity which occurred for the council to avail itself of the services of an
Auckland citizen going abroad, and who, by reason of his knowledge and
connections, was well able to procure in distant parts further suitable animals for the
The committee after due consideration, in view of the necessity for immediate action
as the gentleman was sailing this week, authorised £500 to be placed at his disposal.
He had been given authority accordingly. The report was adopted and the £500 voted.
Gifts of the following animals made to the new Auckland Zoo
(Hawera and Normanby Star 7 February 1923)39
Gifts from citizens to the newly instituted Auckland Zoo are coming in freely. Among
them are a tiger cat, a pair of Tasmanian devils, a pair of racoons, a wombat, an
agoute, seven macaque monkeys, a donkey and two ostriches, while other donors
have intimated that they have secured contributions from abroad.
Indian elephant Elephas maximus indicus
Arrangements announced for the transportation of Jamuna
to New Zealand from the Alipore Zoo40
The elephant given by Mr. John Court to the Auckland Zoological Gardens will reach
Auckland in April, arrangements having been made to ship it from its present home at
the Alipore Zoo, India, in March. In his donation Mr. Court has had a careful selection
made, and Jamuna, as the elephant has been christened, is a young female which is
thoroughly tame, and has been accustomed to carrying children on its back, states the
"Auckland Star." The purchase price and all expenses of landing the elephant at its
new home in Grey Lynn will run to about £450. Mr. Court has stipulated that for the
first year rides on the back of Jamuna shall be free to children.16th
The Auckland Star reports Mayor Gunson advising the
Auckland City Council that the new zoo is a success. Mention
of elephant (Jamuna) due to arrive in April. Negotiations are
mentioned for the securing of North American species for
.. In conclusion. Mr. Gunson remarked that the Zoo had proved an undoubted success,
beyond the Council's most sanguine expectations.
"The receipts are providing,” he said, "not only full amounts for adequate
maintenance, but from the revenue the Council will be able to provide interest and
sinking fund on the loan. This is quite clear, and the indication given at the time will
be borne out, that the undertaking will be carried on without cost to the ratepayers.”
“Several other gifts to the Zoo are pending, and these will greatly add to its
“The elephant will arrive in April, as also, it is expected, will several other exhibits”
“We are now negotiating for several other North American exhibits, such as buffalo
and bison, but nothing definite can be said about these yet.”
“The problem now confronting the Council is that of further capital moneys for
obviously needed development at the Zoo to make provision for the exhibits that are
“The Council will be considering this question at its next meeting. The Parks
Committee, which visited the Zoo on Tuesday, and will pay another special visit of
inspection next Tuesday, will be reporting fully on the 22nd inst. to the Council in
respect to the whole undertaking."
The Auckland Star reports on further expenditure to be used
for the new zoo42
It is only the other day that the ratepayers sanctioned a loan of £10,000 to construct a
zoo, and now another £20,000 is wanted for development, besides £17,000 for a
tramway extension to the place. Indeed, the Council has already dipped into the
general account for £3720 for this enterprise, and it has wisely decided that further
developmental expenditure must come out of loan. The zoo promises to fulfil the
expectations of its founders, and more. The site is well-nigh ideal, and the public has
attended in large numbers. Ratepayers are assured not only that the zoo has been
established without cost to them, but that it is "more than fully self-supporting," and
promises to continue to show this satisfactory result. We are glad of this, and we hope
that the addition of another £20,000 to the capital expenditure will not place any
burden on the ratepayers. A zoo should have a tram service to its gates, and we
presume that interest on the cost of extension will be earned.
Attendances at Auckland Zoo reported as being
The attendances at the Auckland Zoo since it was opened nearly three months ago
have been very satisfactory. The Parks Committee reported to the Auckland City
Council on Friday evening that, up 11 February, 15,573 adults and 9075 children had
passed through the gates. The total takings to the date named amounted to £892.
Sea Lion shot and Ostrich killed by vandals.44
Sea Lion shot
Ostrich poisoned by copper poisoning due to being fed coins
– and other items
2 Tuatara also killed with sticks
ZOO EXHIBITS LOST
SEA LION SHOT; OSTRICH KILLED.
[BY TELEGRAPH. —SPECIAL TO THE POST.) AUCKLAND, This Day.
Numerous acts of vandalism at Auckland's new Zoo have been reported to the City
Council. One of the ostriches died on Saturday as the result of copper poisoning, due
to the presence of bronze money in the bird's stomach. The sea lion was shot dead
deliberately, while two of the quaint colony of Tuatara lizards were killed rather
brutally by violent prodding with sticks.
In addition, monkeys have been badly treated by a little band: of hooligans who
visited the Zoo on Sunday. Flower beds and rockeries have been wantonly interfered
with, and the picturesque creek, which should be an outstanding feature of the Zoo,
has been fouled and littered with rubbish.
A report regarding the death of the ostrich shows that its body contained several
bronze coins, a small silver coin, two large pieces of lead, and a small coil of wire.
Fallow Deer a 2 year old hind and a nine year old 12 pointer
stag are presented to Auckland Zoo by H. H. Ostler 45
A couple of Wanganui residents had a strenuous time yesterday capturing and
shipping by the Arapawa to Onehunga a two-year-old fallow deer hind and a nine
year-old 12-point stag, which were reared at Kaiwhaike. They were purchased from
Mr. W. Cames, of Makirikiri, for Mr. H. H. Ostler, of Auckland, who is presenting
them to the Auckland Zoo. The stag, which has a royal head, and the hind, which is
beautifully marked, will doubtless be greatly admired.
Donation by Mr William Elliot of £102 for the purchase of
birds for Auckland Zoo
Mr William Elliot has donated the sum of £102 for the purchase of birds for the
Auckland Zoo. These are to include 144 mixed parrots, including pennants, rosellas,
quarrians, red rumps and budgerigars, little green pigeons, peaceful doves, partridge
pigeons, diamond sparrows, chestnut finches, zebra and Northern Territory finches
- Evening Post 12 April 1923
Enderby Island Fur Seals obtained via NZ Government
Expedition to Sub Antarctic Islands
Concerns raised about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ‘Eskimo Dog’
having inadequate accommodation at Auckland Zoo reported
Note this was a dog that was donated by Captain White in
The dogs from the Shackleton pack were survivors of the
Ross Sea Party. Five adult dogs returned on the Aurora to
Wellington including a litter of 8 puppies.
This dog was possibly one of the many puppies born during
the journey to the Ross Sea.
Much as has been done to make comfortable the animals kept in captivity at the
Auckland Zoo there is a feeling that some of the inmates have been overlooked, and
an effort is now on foot to have the matter remedied, states the "Auckland Star."
Exception is taken to the inadequate accommodation given to the lonely Eskimo dog
that came from the Shackleton pack.
Several humane people are now endeavouring to have a larger space set apart for the
dog. For an ordinary dog the space allotted would perhaps be enough, but for an
animal of the habits of the Eskimo variety it is urged something allowing more
freedom should be provided.
Arrival of Jamuna at Kings Wharf Auckland
The first appearance of the Auckland City Council's gift elephant Jamuna before the
Auckland public on Wednesday proved very disappointing, as she ignored the
welcome awaiting her and refused to come ashore from the steamer, states the "New
Zealand Herald." The "official landing" was feed for 3 o'clock, at which hour a large
number of people had gathered on the King's Wharf to welcome their new pet. At the
appointed time Jamuna was unchained from the ringbolts and led to the heavy
wooden gangway rigged specially to hold her weight. The journey to the wharf,
however, proved too fearsome for the beast, for, after testing the gangway thoroughly
with her trunk, she refused to go any further. The Indian attendant, as well as the
ship's officials and the company's stevedores, all tried to coax the animal to step on to
the gangway. All their endeavours proved without avail, the only result being that the
elephant knelt on the deck as if praying to be left alone. The situation was most
humorous. An inclined approach of hatches was then made to the gangway but this
was not considered to be any improvement by the elephant, as she then sat on her
haunches and moaned feebly. About half an hour was spent in trying to induce
Jamuna to take the risk, but she could not be persuaded. Each time she was induced to
move she either knelt on the deck or sprawled out and refused to put her fore feet on
the gangway. The attempt was then abandoned and Jamuna was led back to her
quarters on deck and again chained up. Jamuna was landed safely on Thursday
Evening Post 9 June 1923
Three American Bison to arrive shortly at the zoo from
An arrangement for the gift of three bison to the Auckland Zoo was made some time
ago by the Mayor of Auckland (Mr. J. H. Gunson), and this addition to the present
nucleus of a collection of wild animals will shortly be received. A recent Canadian
news bulletin received by the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Mr. W. A. Beddoe,
states that arrangements were being made for the transfer to Auckland of one male
and two female bison from Wainwright Park, Alberta, one of the Canadian
Government national parks, which contains the largest herd of bison in the world.
Jamuna still in temporary quarters at Municipal Depot.
Contract for Elephant House is let out.46
The elephant Jamuna, the gift of Mr. John Court, is still in temporary quarters at the
municipal depot in Freeman's Bay, but later it will be housed in an elephant's concrete
house at the Zoo, a contract for the erection of which has been let by the City Council
(states the "New Zealand Herald").
Jamuna the Indian Elephant escapes her enclosure
Atir Ali Jamuna’s Keeper is employed by Auckland City
JUMUNA HAS AN EVENING OUT
AN ESCAPADE AT FREEMAN'S BAY.
(BY TELEGRAPH. —SPECIAL TO THE POST.)
AUCKLAND, This Day.
An entertaining account of the idiosyncrasies of Auckland's new elephant, Jumuna,
and her fondness for her Indian keeper, was given to the City Council on Thursday
evening in a report submitted by Mr. L. T. Griffin. This was based upon an escapade
of the animal. On a recent Sunday, at about 7 p.m., said Mr. Griffin, Jumuna broke out
of her temporary stall at the council depot in Freemans Bay, near the destructor. In the
absence of Ater Ali, her keeper or mahout, she then proceeded to pull down the down
pipes on various buildings, also sundry water taps. Afterwards she proceeded to the
mahout's room, broke a bolt off the door, and ate all his flour, sugar, butter, milk, and
everything else eatable there.
While she was busy at this the night shift men at the destructor blocked the passageway with carts and wagons, thinking to limit her wanderings. However, as she came
back she first tore a pipe and water tap off the side of the destructor house and broke
the window of the men's eating-room, and then calmly and with the greatest of care
pushed all the wagons out of the passage, turning one over and damaging it. At this
stage all the nightshift men at the destructor mounted to the top of the boilers and
stopped there, pending the arrival of assistance.
Jumuna then proceeded to smack down the large double gates, and partly succeeded.
Ater Ali returned at 10 p.m., and she settled down at once, and men on top of the
boilers were released and returned to their duties.
“Ater Ali seldom leaves the elephant," continued Mr. Griffin. "I must say he looks
after her well from one week's end to the other, but he tells me that when he is there
the elephant is very good, but when he goes away then she is very bad. He is
dissatisfied with the stable she is in, and says he cannot be answerable for her in such
a place. I have now ordered her to be chained fore and aft to the floor. The mahout is
quite satisfied with this arrangement."
The incident showed fairly conclusively that Jumuna would be a handful, were her
present keeper to leave Auckland. That contretemps was in some danger of
It appears Ater Ali has been receiving £10 a month, but he recently notified the Parks
Committee of the council that he could not accept that amount as a permanency.
He wanted £4 10s a week, exclusive of quarters at the Zoo and a uniform. If this were
not granted he requested that the council should arrange for his return to India.
Mr. Griffin reported, however, that he had persuaded the mahout to take £14 a month,
with, room and uniform.
On the recommendation of the committee the council agreed to these terms, and to
have the keeper at the Zoo instructed to assist with the elephant when she is taken
Recommendations for the expenditure of the £20,000 loan,
recently authorised for the Zoological Gardens
improvements, were submitted by the Parks Committee. 6
Polar Bears Ursus maritimus ordered – 2 males 4 females
(these were the six Polar Bears obtained from G.B. Chapman
a London based animal dealer.)48
Recommendations for the expenditure of the £20,000 loan, recently authorised for the
Zoological Gardens improvements, were submitted by the Parks Committee to the
Auckland City Council last week. It stated that if carried out the proposed works
would place the Zoo in a first class condition, and make it highly attractive to visitors.
The recommendations included : Tea kiosk £1500 ; tigers' arena, £1595; elephant
walk, £280; elephant pool, £460; elephant house (permanent structure for two animals
with full accommodation), £2000; monkey house, £720; flying aviary (collection gift
birds), £1500- Polar bears, £400; Polar bear arena, £2000; bison paddock, £250; work
at lions' and bears' arenas, £1000; purchase of monkeys and kangaroos, £100. The
recommendations were adopted. The Parks Committee reported that it had cabled for
six Polar bears for the Zoo, four female and two male animals having been ordered.
Shipment of animals including several polar bears (to be
shipped at a later date) reported as coming from London via
2 ‘Green’ Monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus)
1 Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Badgers (unknown subspecies)
Palm Civet Cats (unknown subspecies)
Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia)
Ibex (Capra…*unknown subspecies of Ibex)
Agoutis (Unknown subspecies)
Mention of 6 polar bears to be shipped. These were
supposed to be 2 males and four females that were caught
in Norway by Sealers. They were later sent to London before
being shipped to Auckland Zoo.
Two monkeys, one fox, a number of badgers, civet-cats, Barbary sheep, ibex, and
agoutis are being shipped by the Pakeha from London for the Auckland Zoological
Gardens, Six young polar bears are also be shipped shortly.
A Tortoise of unknown species is presented to the Zoo by Dr
A. Campbell Smith50
A tortoise, about two feet in length and reputed to be over 150 years old has been
presented to the Auckland Zoo by Dr. A. Campbell-Smith.
Importation Authorisation is granted by the Department of
Internal Affairs for Auckland Zoo to import:51
Polar Bear Cubs
Discussion concerning Sir Ernest Shackleton’s dog not being
housed properly at the zoo. 52
AUCKLAND ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
SHIPMENT OF ANIMALS.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) LONDON, 30th August.
More than one Auckland resident visiting England has been entrusted with the
mission of buying suitable animals for the Auckland Zoological Gardens.
As the result of Mr. H. H. Ostler's efforts, quite a small circus was shipped by the
Pakeha yesterday. Mr. Ostler tried the Manchester and the Edinburgh Zoological
Society, and a great many dealers, but found there were remarkably few animals to be
bought except at exorbitant prices.
Manchester and Edinburgh had no duplicates, and the present shipment includes all
the duplicates which the London Zoological Society had to spare. There are a pair of
barbary sheep, a Grecian ibex, a Himalayan ibex, agoutis, palm civets, green
monkeys, a fox, and a mongoose. The cost of these animals is about £75.
Mr. Ostler has got in touch with the Director of the National South African Zoological
Gardens at Pretoria and he is reserving the remainder of the £500 he is entrusted to
spend for a collection of African animals.
Mr. Ostler, by the way, is leaving England next week for Central Africa on a big game
The duty of looking after the animals will fall on the ship's company, who have very
full instructions concerning diet and treatment generally. Messrs. T. H. Hamer and
Co., who undertook to arrange for the shipment, have also procured the food supply
for the voyage. The diet includes clover, crushed oats, potatoes, apples, carrots,
bananas, rice, biscuits, and meat.
Mr. H. E. Vaile is another Aucklander who has been on the trail of wild animals. His
particular quest was tigers, but so far he has not been successful. Since he has been in
England he has had a further request to obtain some polar bears, and upon the advice
of Mr. Seth-Smith, of the London Zoological Society he consulted a well-known
dealer who found that some young ones had recently been caught in Norway He has
secured two males and four females for Auckland and Messrs. Downie Brothers, the
Auckland City Council's London agents, are arranging for the transportation of these
puppies. As yet they have not reached England, but they are expected shortly.
The Rev. Dr. Pinfold, it will he recollected, is on a quest for a tiger for the Wellington
Zoo, and it is hoped this may be secured from India. Tigers are scarce on this side.
- Evening Post 16 October 1923
Purchase of a black leopard Panthera pardus announced
6 Polar Bears to be shipped Ursus maritimus
It was reported to the Auckland City Council on Thursday evening that the Parks
Committee had purchased another black panther (Leopard) as a mate for the one
already purchased for the Auckland Zoo. It was also stated that the committee had
accepted the offer of a caretaker's, services for the sum of £50 to accompany a
shipment of animals from England, provided that "the six Polar bears and two
panthers were shipped by the same vessel. This action was endorsed (states the "New
Zealand Herald"). Recently the council purchased a hippopotamus in Melbourne at a
cost of £400.
Evening Post 22 October 1923
The arrival of Bella53 Auckland Zoo’s first Hippopotamus
from Melbourne Zoo reported as due.
AUCKLAND'S "BABY HIPPO."
The Auckland Zoo is soon to have a "baby" hippotamus added to its rapidly
increasing attractions, for last week the Parks Committee reported that one had been
bought in Melbourne at £400 for early delivery.
As a "baby” however, it is exceedingly well grown and weighty for its inches, being
almost as big now as its mother, whose home is the Melbourne Zoo. Consequently
something pretty substantial in the nature of a nursery will be necessary, as a playful
young hippo might quite by accident break something, or fall through a wall of any
but the most solid proportions if she leant against it to scratch herself. To prepare
suitable accommodation for this young lady, for it is understood the "baby" is of the
gentler sex, the council decided to enlarge the creek from the Western Springs,
surround it with a stone and iron fence, and put up suitable shelter for the animal, at
an estimated cost of £850. It seems that the new exhibit is something of a favourite at
the Melbourne Zoo, and is known to the officials and the public as the "Baby Hippo,"
not yet having been given any other name. She had an elder sister, or rather still has,
but the family is a wandering one, and the sister went to the Sydney Zoo, the
authorities of which paid the sum of £500 for the privilege of entertaining her. So it
may be taken that Auckland has secured a "snip" in getting the "baby" for £400.
Hippotami thrive well in captivity, and though their upkeep is costly—their favourite
diet being fresh hay—they are always such an attraction to visitors that it pays to
- Hawera & Nomanby Star 27 October 1923
Jamuna accidently bites the end of her keeper’s finger off
Jamuna, Auckland's baby elephant on Thursday added another chapter to her many
“pranks" this time biting off the top of the fourth finger of the right hand of her
mahout, Ali Jamuna, having finished joy-riding for the afternoon at the Zoo (states
"The Post Auckland correspondent), was picking up a peanut, gave it to his charge.
She opened her mouth closed it on poor Ali's hand as well as the peanut, so that when
Ali withdrew it the finger-top was gone. The injury however, is not serious, Ali being
able to attend to his duties as usual.
- Evening Post 28 November 1923
Further arrivals at Auckland Zoo aboard the Marama expected including the
zoo’s first hippo ‘Bella’
A number of valuable exhibits for the Auckland Zoo are aboard the Marama, which
will arrive at Auckland from Sydney next Tuesday. These will include the
hippopotamus, an additional tiger, and the large collection of coloured Australian
birds, as well as sundry smaller items.
- Evening Post 8 December 1923
Tiger cub killed by resident Tigress ‘Molly’
A ZOO TRAGEDY
AUCKLAND, This Day. The tiger cub which arrived by the Marama on Tuesday for
the local zoo, was killed by the tigress Molly on Wednesday. The cub was a male, and
was destined to be Molly's mate when full grown. As, however, he was only nine
months old and only the size of a large dog, the zoo authorities decided it would be
unwise to place him with the tigress until full grown.. For some reason not explained,
the cub was placed in the tigress's arena, and was at once savagely attacked. An
eyewitness reports that the cub was slowly choked to death. The loss to the zoo is
serious, as the animal was a fine, healthy specimen. There seems some fatality
attaching to mates destined for Molly. A fully grown male previously purchased for
the zoo died at sea en route from Sydney.
Evening Post 15 December 1923
Report on the ‘new zoos’ profitability as being favourable
A Lioness is sold to Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart Tasmania. The
animal was shipped to Taronga Park Zoo before arriving in
Hobart 28 March 192454
The Auckland Star reports on the arrival of 300 animals on
the Persic from Africa. Species mentioned included Zebras,
bush pigs, apes, chimpanzees, baboons, spider monkeys,
300 NEW SPECIMENS. ALL FROM AFRICA. MELBOURNE, March 31. On board
the steamer Persic, which arrived here to-day, are many South African animals for the
Auckland Zoo. This is the largest consignment of the sort ever sent through
Melbourne. The animals include: Zebras, bush pigs, apes, chimpanzees, baboons,
spider monkeys, and polecats.—(A. and N.Z. Cable.)
A large consignment of 300 animals from South Africa
Zoo animals are poisoned by arsenic or other corrosive
A House Sparrow with a malformed beak is presented by Mr
Pegler of Manurewa56
A sparrow with a strange malformation of her hill is being presented to the Auckland
Zoo by Mr. Pegler of Mannrewa.
By some strange freak of nature the lower half of the bill has grown nut of all
proportion, and has gradually curved in a perfect half circle.
If straightened out it would measure probably two inches instead of half an inch,
which is the usual length of a sparrow's bill.
The upper half of the bill is quite normal, but looks strangely diminutive as it lies in
the groove of the long, sickle-shaped lower half.
Of course it is quite impossible for the bird to peck its food in the usual way, and it is
quite amusing to watch it approach a grain or other piece of food, cock its little head
on one side and "spoon" the food into its mouth.
Such a deformity is not unknown among birds, but it is very uncommon, and no one
seems to know what is exactly the cause of it.
In spite of its awkwardness in feeding the little sparrow from Manurewa is quite
cheerful, and looks quite as well fed as the ordinary run of her relations.
The Auckland Star reports the Auckland Zoological Gardens
have released its first Guide Book to the facility. 57
GUIDE TO THE ZOO.
A SPLENDID PUBLICATION.
A. good deal is heard concerning the lack of enterprise in letting the outside public
know about the charms and wonders of New Zealand, but this taunt cannot be levelled
at the Auckland municipality, which is easily first in the Dominion in the matter of
judicious advertising. The Mayor, Sir James Gunson, is fully alive to tbe importance
of intelligent publicity, where the interests of this desirable part of the Dominion are
concerned. The council is particularly fortunate in its editor. Mr. Robert Hill, who has
the faculty of seizing on the vital points of the subject and presenting them in an
arresting form. In its latest publication, an “Official Guide to the Auckland Municipal
Zoological Park," the corporation is also fortunate in having secured the services of
such a pastmaster of the camera as Mr. R. B. Walrond, of the "Star" staff, for some of
the reproductions are unbelievably realistic pictures of wild animals. The reader will
be puzzled to know how such pictures could be taken of the leopard, the grand lions,
the fierce tiger, and the bears. 'Quite a number of the photographs are worthy of a
frame. Those of the bears, both brown and polar are unsurpassable.' The sea lions and
sea elephant have been caught in wonderfully telling poses. Jamuna, the idol of the
kiddies, is shown with her gaily dressed mahout, and surrounded by troops of
youngsters, all anxious to ride on her broad back. The bison, the buffalo, the many
kinds of deer, the splendidly hideous hippopotamus (with his gigantic mouth wide
open) all make splendid negatives. In photographing the birds, the art and patience of
the camera-man receive their best certificate. The queer and beautiful birds have been
snapped, but the illustrations do not stop there; even the odd minute rat-like Golden
Agouti and the lonely little Tasmanian Devil have their counterfeits reproduced in this
Apart from its interest as a souvenir of the remarkable collection of birds, beasts, and
fishes that the municipality has collected out at Grey Lynn, the book is worth double
the price, as an education in natural history. One could not suggest a better book on
natural history for the schools. In addition to Mr. Walrond's wonderful work, the book
has a fine panorama of the unique locale of the Zoo, taken by Mr. J. B. Arnold, and a
couple of prints by the "Weekly News" photographer. There are in all sixty seven
photographs, a plan of the park and a map of Auckland showing the tramway routes.
A Large shipment of animals from George Chapman in
London is reported58
FOR THE AUCKLAND ZOO
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
By the Tekoa, which sails on 27th November, quite a large family of wild animals
from all parts of the world will be going out to the Auckland Zoological Gardens.
Messrs. Downie Brothers the councils agents in London, have had the matter in hand
for some time and the well-known wild animal agent, Mr. G. Bruce Chapman, has had
his world-wide organisation in action to collect and concentrate the beasts at his depot
at High Barnett. Twelve of these are now ready for shipment and six others will
follow in December or January
There are four polar bears—one male and three females. These arrived in August,
having been brought from Norway. They are half-grown animals and were caught by
whalers in the northern seas. Polar bear hunting seems to be an auxiliary trade earned
by most whaling parties in the Arctic.
A pair of chimpanzees were caught in West Africa and shipped from Dakar six weeks
ago. Then, there are a pair of Bengal tigers. These are now full grown, but they were
trapped when they were young, and have been in the firm's depot at Bombay for some
time. They are said to be very fine specimens.
A pair of pumas have come from South America. The firm's hunter caught them at
Floresta, about 500 miles from Pernambuco, Brazil. Although these animals are
carnivorous, they are able to be tamed, and the hunter who brought them over treats
them as though they were large cats and strokes them and handles them. They stand
about two feet high at the shoulder.
The Auckland Zoological Gardens are particularly fortunate in being able to secure a
pair of giant ant-eaters. They are very difficult to get, and except for the pair in
question, Mr. Bruce Chapman believes these are the only ones in Europe. At present
they are on loan to the London Zoological Gardens. This pair were caught beside the
River Amazon, and are considered to be as fine specimens as have ever been brought
into captivity. They are 6ft 6in from tip of nose to tip of tail, end stand about 2it 6in
A PAIR OF RHINOCEROSES.
These are the animals which will go out by the Tekoa. Later on there will follow a
pair of rhinoceroses, which have been caught in East Africa. As they are very valuable
animals the chief agent is keeping them to bring home to England himself rather than
allow them to be brought by a junior officer of the company.
The capture of rhinoceroses is generally undertaken by native chiefs who are in touch
with the agents. The beasts are trapped when they are young, and it takes an army of
natives to bring them into captivity. An Indian rhinoceros costs £4000, but the African
species is very much, cheaper.
A pair of cheetahs is also due from East Africa and a pair of orang-outangs from
Borneo. The Tekoa shipment will go out in charge of one of the company's experts.
For the polar bears nearly a ton of fish will have to be taken. In addition any kind of
frozen meat will be fed to them.
The giant ant-eaters will eat twelve eggs each day, meat chopped up small, and dried
ant eggs. These ant eggs cost 3s a pound, and come from Sweden. It is not absolutely
necessary for the anteaters to be fed on ants eggs, but during a journey they will
naturally have the best food.
Each chimpanzee will eat six bananas a day, and a quantity of boiled rice, tinned milk.
and Benger's fond. The tigers will live on meat and water, and the pumas, too, are
meat eaters. When the rhinoceroses go out they will have a good supply of bay, straw,
After a dispute over employment conditions Ater Ali
Jamuna’s keeper leaves Auckland Zoo.
‘In January 1925 Ali left the zoo after a dispute over working conditions. By then
keeper Dawson had been trained for managing Jamuna, and the council declined to
support an application by Ali for permanent residence. The parks committee resolved
that ‘council is under an obligation to return Ater Ali to Calcutta, and is not disposed
to sign a certificate to enable him to remain in New Zealand’. And so, as far as we
know, the man who introduced what was probably the zoo’s most popular animal
returned quietly home.’
Sourced: A Tiger by the Tail: A history of Auckland Zoo 1922-1992 by Derek Wood
with Robert Mannion (Auckland City Council 1992) Page 30
A giant ant eater and a Chimpanzee on board the Tekoa die
during the voyage59
Word has been received by wireless that one of the two giant ant-eaters which were
being brought out to the Auckland Zoo by the Te Koa, arriving I this evening, had
died, and that the other one is sick. Arrangements have accordingly been made for a
veterinary surgeon to go out to the vessel as soon as .-he arrives in the stream, in an
effort to save the survivor. One of the two chimpanzees also died on the voyage, but
otherwise the animals and birds of the collection are reported to be in good health.
The surviving Giant Anteater reported as making a recovery
by Auckland Zoo60
The authorities at the Auckland Zoo are now highly optimistic regarding the life of the
giant anteater which arrived in company with other animals and birds by the steamer
Tekoa from London on Tuesday.
Owing to his cramped prison the anteater developed numerous bed sores and became
generally sick. With the hope of improving the animal's condition it was liberated
from its box and given the freedom of a deck cabin but even this luxury failed to
effect a cure and when it as landed at Auckland doubt was expressed as to its
It is now reported that the anteater is making satisfactory progress, and will in all
probability not have to be destroyed.
A young Orangutan arrives from London on the Sussex. The
primate was gifted by the Zoological Society of London. 61
The latest addition to the collection of birds and animals at the Auckland Zoo, is a
young orang-outang, which arrived from London by the steamer Surrey on Saturday
night. The animal, which was born at the London Zoo, is very tame and should be
extremely popular with visitors. It was presented to the City Council by the London
Male Polar Bear is sold to Wellington Zoo for £75. The
Auckland City Council had ordered 6 bears. They received
four males and two females. It was decided to sell one of the
male bears to prevent any conflicts that could result in
The Mayor (Mr. E,. A.:Wright) yesterday received a communication from the
Auckland City Council, advising him the Auckland Council was agreeable to supply a
male Polar bear to the Wellington Zoo, the price agreed upon being £75.
The Auckland Council, bearing in mind the risks of transport; ordered six bears, and
all arrived safely. There are two males in the collection, and as they are pugnacious
brutes, and liable to fight to the death they must be kept apart. Arrangements have
been made for the temporary housing of the male bear when, it arrives at Wellington.
Wellington Zoo receives its first Polar Bear from Auckland
A ZOO ATTRACTION
POLAR BEAR ARRIVES
IN TEMPORARY QUARTERS
Wellington's first polar bear, a very fine and well-grown youngster, arrived in good
spirits at the Zoo yesterday, and was liberated in its temporary quarters today. This
bear is the animal purchased by the council from the Auckland City Council, which
some time ago placed an order for five polar bears, two males and three-females,
more than were really required for the Auckland Zoo, in order to guard against the
possibilities of sickness or accident during the voyage to New Zealand. As a matter of
fact, all five arrived in good fettle, and it was accordingly decided to sell one of the
males. Wellington's bear is apparently an enterprising young chap, so much so that
while on shipboard he voted against further solitary confinement, and straight away
set to work and chewed a way out through the bottom of his cage. Upon that the
majority vote immediately went against him, but he argued stoutly before being
subdued and sent back to a cage with a more resisting flooring. For the time being the
bear will remain in the old bear cages near the entrance gates, one compartment
having been converted into a swimming bath of rather limited dimensions, certainly
more limited than would make for an-ideal home for a youngster, let alone an adult
polar bear, and far too small for the present bear and the mate, which will presumably,
arrive some time later. The tank compartment, moreover, cannot be satisfactory as a
permanency for the; reason that, as far as the public will see, the bear will make no
great showing as a swimmer, in fact, if he grows to be a really big animal before he is
shifted, to larger quarters he will perforce spend a deal of his time as do nonswimmers at the seaside, just "bobbing," gaining thereby no great amount of exercise,
and amusement, and not amusing those who watch him either, for that matter.
Criticism of the Zoo’s Financial Management
Thomas Arthur accuses Auckland Zoo of wrongful charges
concerning the poisoning of animals in 1924.
ALLEGED WRONGFUL ARREST
Petitioner's Charges Accused of Zoo Outrage, then Released.
One day last year Thomas William Arthur, a zoologist, who had some time previously
applied for and been denied a position at the Auckland Zoo, was on board the steamer
Remuera at Wellington — it was the same trip as that on which the All Blacks
journeyed Horne — when he was visited by detectives and was requested to pay a
visit to the Police Station.
His allegations as to what subsequently happened, and a narration of the
circumstances which he says led up to his arrest, detention and alleged rough
treatment, are contained m a petition praying for investigation and compensation,
which was presented to the House of Representatives by Mr. W. J. Jordan, M.P.
Condensed, petitioner's tale is: That he came to Auckland in October, 1922, to seek
employment at the Zoo taken over by the City Council from Mr. Boyd. He
interviewed the Mayor (Mr. now Sir, James Gunson), the town clerk, councillors and
zoo superintendent, and was given to understand that he would be given a position to
look after wild animals. However, in March, 1923, he saw the chairman of the zoo
committee, and, on being told there was no prospect of his employment, he gave up
the quest. He attended the opening of the zoo in December, 1922, and since that time
neither he nor his family had ever been near the zoo. Proceeding, Arthur m his
petition goes on to say that in June, 1924, he received word that it was necessary for
him to go to England in connection with an estate In Chancery, and a little later, when
on a lecturing tour m the Hamilton district, he was informed of a position being open
for him on the steamer Remuera. He went to Wellington, after a hurried trip to
Auckland, and signed articles on the Remuera. On July 29 he was on the saloon deck
of the steamer when he was called to the chief officer's cabin and there met a
detective, who asked him to go with him to the police station. On the wharf another
detective approached and said: "You're pretty smart, aren't you? Thought you could
hide and get out of the country. You are a prisoner now and will be for the next five
years at Mount Eden. How quietly you got out of Auckland, eh?" Petitioner states that
at the police station he truthfully answered questions, yet one detective called him a
— liar and asked him where he had got the arsenic with which to "poison the zebra,"
and made other similar accusations for the space of an hour, m which the name of
"Jimmy Gunson" (referring to the Mayor of Auckland) was freely used. Petitioner
said he asked to be confronted with Sir James Gunson, whom he had passed m the
street the previous evening, and who, he was sure, had seen him also, but he was told
by the detective (who shook his fist under his nose and told him he would like to
knock him through the wall, and that he ought to be poisoned, as he had poisoned the
poor monkeys at Auckland Zoo), that Sir James knew where he was and would not
see him, and that he (Sir James) gave Arthur a very black It had been reported that Sir
James Gunson had told a reporter that "nothing has been left undone to bring the
perpetrator (of the animal-poisoning) to justice, and, while no actual arrest had been
made a pretty close idea had been arrived at as to the identity of the individual
responsible." These remarks had been published in a newspaper. Petitioner read the
reportinm January this year after his return from England (he had been permitted by
the detectives to go on board the Remuera again after his detention) and he wrote to
the Mayor asking him to take steps to clear his reputation, either by letter or inquiry,
but he received a reply to the effect that the police acted entirely on their own
initiative and that he could do nothing m the matter. Petitioner contended that Sir
James Gunson should be called upon to state to whom he did refer in the remarks
published, and also to say oh what grounds he made the statement. Petitioner declares
that from July 14 to July, 24, 1924, he was engaged delivering lectures on Lord
Nelson at Hamilton, Frankton, and Te Awamutu under the auspices of the V.M.C.A.,
and that it was some time during the above period that the poisoning of the animals
took place, which facts petitioner says he is prepared to prove.
In conclusion, Arthur states that his business as one who takes care of wild animals is
an uncommon one, m which comparatively few persons m the world are engaged, and
that the effect of the public statement of the Mayor, until the prominence of
petitioner's arrest from the vessel on which the All Blacks were travelling and on
which were many prominent people, were such as to practically ruin petitioner's
reputation. Therefore he claimed compensation for wrongful arrest, rough treatment,
and loss of reputation.
- NZ Truth 18 July 1925
NZ Truth criticises Auckland Zoo over death of a newly
Arrival of Chaka Male hippopotamus from Calcutta Zoo via
London as a mate for Bella the female64
None the worse after his long sea voyage, the male hippopotamus which was recently
purchased in India for Auckland Zoological Park arrived at the Northern city by the
steamer Kent. When the vessel berthed, he was taken, by lorry to his new home. The
hippopotamus, which was born of captive parents In Calcutta Zoo, is now five years
old. He was acquired in India as a mate for the female of the species which has been
at the local Zoo for some months. From Calcutta he was shipped to London, where he
underwent a special examination at the hands of a professor of the London Zoological
Society. The results of the examination were highly satisfactory, and the
hippopotamus was then taken to Liverpool, where he was shipped on the Kent. His
cage, which was specially constructed for the purpose, was secured at the after end of
the bridge deck. The feeding of the hippopotamus throughout the trip was carried out
by the ship's butcher. Last week the Kent encountered a series of moderate gales, and
wm severely buffeted. Quantities of water were shipped on deck, but the
hippopotamus was little worried. He crawled beneath his bed of straw and slept for
comfort until the weather moderated.
Female Asiatic Leopard escapes from her enclosure
Escaped Female Asiatic Leopard found drowned and floating
in the water at Lady Bay near St Heliers 11 October
A large Albatross is found in exhausted state on Muriwai
Beach and sent to the Auckland Zoo65
An albatross that has a spread of over eight feet across its wings and appears to be a
young bird was captured on Muriwai Beach on Saturday and taken to the Auckland
The bird was exhausted at the time of its capture and was suffering from a severe
buffeting in the westerly gale.
Upon arrival At the Zoological Park yesterday the albatross was put on the pond with
the Egyptian geese.
Except for the fact that it was in a sickly and weakened condition and was unable to
fly, the bird possessed its liberty and every effort was made by the Zoo authorities to
assist in its recovery.
To-day it was reported that the albatross was eating a little and swimming slowly
round on the pond; hut was unable to use its wings, except in a listless manner.
It is expected that the bird's recovery will take several days, as it was severely stormtossed.
In colour, the albatross resembles a greybacked sea-gull, and has a long beak with a
The capture was made by Messrs. Geo. Henning and K. E. Champtaloup, who
brought the bird to Auckland by motor car.
Very few people saw it yesterday, as the attendance at the Zoo was small; but, if it
recovers, it is expected that the albatross will arouse general interest, because birds of
its kind are rarely seen close to land.
2 North American Bison (1 Bull, 1 cow) arrive from Canada66
There arrived by the steamer Wairuna from San Francisco yesterday afternoon two
American buffaloes, a bull and a cow, which have now been added to the growing
collection of animals -at the Auckland Zoo. The buffaloes, which for the past two
years have been herded at Jasper Park, British Columbia, experienced a somewhat
stormy passage across the Pacific, but arrived in good health.
The Auckland Star reports that a Leopard Seal captured the
previous week is slowly dying in captivity at the Auckland
We are told that the sea leopard captured last Sunday and now in the Zoo is doomed,
for it is admitted that its like has not hitherto been known to live in captivity. Still. a
few hundred extra people may be attracted to the Zoo (at a shilling a nob) to see the
victim slowly dying and the mere matter of its misery cannot be allowed
consideration. It would never occur to our highly civilised and humane generation to
return the unlucky "exhibit" to its native habitat, so that it could live out its natural
A Wildebeest bull is gifted to Auckland Zoo by Perth Zoo68
A wildebeeste bull, a gift from the Perth Zoological Gardens, is to be added to the
animal collection at the Auckland Zoo, and arrangements have been made by the City
Council with the P. and O. Company and the Union Steamship Company to have the
animal shipped to Auckland. The wildebeeste is a species of South African antelope
which is now very rare.
Two Dromedary Camels are gifted to the Auckland Zoo by
the Wylie Expedition69
Two camels have been secured in Australia for the Auckland Zoo. They are a gift by
Messrs. Smith, Wylie and Co., Ltd., and will be delivered free of all charges. The
camels are of the dromedary and one-humped species, and are five years of age.
They were obtained by the Wylie expedition on its recent travels in the Australian
northwest and will be shipped from Perth to Melbourne to await an opportunity to
bring them on to Auckland. Upon arrival here they will be accommodated in the
quarters of the giraffe, which died.
Announcement of the birth of the first Hippopotamus calf
born to Chaka and Bella
BORN AT AUCKLAND ZOO.
(Special to /'The Evening Post")
AUCKLAND, This Day. "Chaka.—On 27th September, in the big pond, to Mr. and
Mrs. Chaka (nee Bella), a son. Both doing well, and everybody as pleased as' Punch."
But, of course, they don't go to the trouble of putting in a birth notice when these little
events happen at the Zoo. Visitors will recognise the names of the two big "hippos,"
which are such a source of interest.
The happy event occurred some time last night, and apparently in the water, but, no
one knows exactly when. All that is definitely known is that this morning there was a
fine healthy youngster basking in the sun on the mud.
The young hippopotamus will be a most attractive exhibit at the Zoo, as it will be
unique not only for Auckland but for the Dominion, and naturally the authorities will
watch its progress with quite as much anxiety as Sir Truby King shows at Karitane.
- Evening Post 28 September 1926
Death of baby hippopotamus – killed by Chaka
Not Long for This World.
The birth of the baby hippopotamus at the Auckland Zoo, announced with jubilation
yesterday, is followed by a gloomy death notice to-day. The pride of the Zoo was slain
by its father.
Evening Post 29 September 1926
Announcement of further purchases of animals for Auckland
Zoo from London
ADDITIONS OF VALUABLE ANIMALS.
(By Telegraph.' (Special to "The Evening Pert.") AUCKLAND, This Day. The large
and varied family at the Auckland Zoo will shortly receive interesting additions. The
new purchases, which will cost approximately £600, will reach Auckland toward the
end of November. The offer of a large number of rare animals and birds was received
by cable some days ago from the Town Clerk (Mr. J. 8. Brigham), who is at present in
London, and the list submitted contained : a number of exhibits which are required to
complete certain sections at the Zoo. The Parks Committee decided to order several of
the exhibits offered, and a cable was sent to Mr. Brigham authorising him to complete
the purchase and arrange for shipment. The purchases authorised, with, the prices as
offered, are: One pair of three quarter-grown cheetahs, £150; one pair of adult oryx
gazelles, £140; one half grown female brown bear, £75; one female ant-eater, £70;
one pair of mandrils, £45; one pair of Gelada baboons, £30; one pair of spider
monkeys, £27, one pair of peacock pheasants, £20; two pairs of white swans, £15;
and one female ocelot, £12 10s. This gives a total cost of £585, and the Town Clerk
was authorised to take the consignment up to £600, at that offer contained an
undertaking that, if the council purchased exhibit to the value of £600 the
consignment would be brought to Auckland by an experienced keeper, who is also
bringing a consignment attractive birds, of which the council will be given first
refusal. The shipment should leave London about 6th October.
- Evening Post 8 September 1926
NZ Truth criticises Auckland Zoo Management over the
death of a hippopotamus calf that was killed by Chaka the
BABY HIPPO'S TRAGIC FATE
Strange Ignorance of Zoo Officials
(From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Auckland Representative.)
Apologists for the management of the Auckland Zoo are never weary of falling back
on the old story of ill-luck. On the other hand, it might be said that the City Council’s
zoological venture is run solely on the lines of luck. Bad luck, where large sums of
ratepayer’s money is involved, would seem to be a poor alternative to forethought and
For the umpteenth time of Truth asking the Auckland Municipal Zoo management
have been found wanting in anticipative perception. With great acclamations the fact
was announced that Madame Hippo had given birth to a hippotamette and that mother
and child were doing well.
But within 24 hours the city was irritated by the tidings that a jealous Mr. Hippo had
passed his youngster into the happy Valhalla where hippos hip beyond iron bars.
Another case, of ill-luck, it was termed; that ill-luck which has made the ratepayers of
the Queen City wonder by what reasoning so-called curators are paid handsome
honorariums from their money while knowing so little, of wild animals.
"It is a most unusual thing for a hippo to savage its young," is the comment reported
to have been made by the curator of the Auckland Zoo.
Married women, men who have termed themselves ignorant bumpkins, and even
young students of zoology, and fanners have expressed their wonderment that those,
-responsible for the Zoo should be so crassly ignorant not to have made provision for
the arrival of the expected baby hippo and have taken every precaution to preserve so
valuable an attraction to the collection.
It does not take, as "N.Z. Truth" has learnt this week, costly and reputedly intelligent
specialists to be aware that the male parent of many wild beasts born in captivity or
under artificial conditions must of necessity be separated from their mate and offering.
An extremely indignant farm-hand took the trouble shortly after the death of the baby
hippo was announced to call at "N.Z. Truth's" Auckland office to express his
indignation at the gross ignorance which -.had been displayed m this instance at
Auckland's municipal zoo.
As he said: "Any farmer or farmhand knows only too well that the male animal will
knock the newborn about, even m the case of sheep, cattle or pigs; while .boars will
frequently eat their young if an opportunity occurs."
To quote a paragraph from the London "Sunday Pictorial" of recent date:
"Both mother and baby are: doing well," said a Zoo official in reply to an inquiry
after the new baby born there.
"This infantile monster, already 3ft. long, is a hippopotamus which is not only its
mother's joy, but the zoo's pride, and no wonder, since it is well over half a century
since a hippo was born there. It is a most unusual thing for them to breed m captivity,"
the official stated.
"The last time such an interesting event took place was in 1872. Then the baby was
christened Guy Fawkes and lived to the age of thirty-six. Most of them live to forty or
fifty in captivity.”
“The new baby is being very closely guarded in fact the keeper is the only man in the
Zoo who has seen it. Even 'daddy' has not been taken in yet"
The Auckland City Council have spent public money very lavishly on the Zoo and it
can be looked upon as an investment which, may pay a good interest on capital
.expenditure with wise administration, but so far the council have very little about
which to boast.
There is a great deal to be desired m the actual controlling of supervising officers. It is
time that, some fully qualified curator was engaged; a man with the best credentials,
who would give his whole time to the job. The Zoo returns warrant it. Secretaryship
to a collection of inanimate objects or a knowledge of taxidermy can hardly be
qualifications for zoology.
Results would seem to bear out this contention “N.Z. Truth" feels constrained to ask
what precautions were taken for the protection of the dead baby hippo or for its
BAD LUCK BLAMED
Will the Mayor of Auckland deny that unbelievable negligence was displayed and if
he does will he explain how it came about that the baby hippo was washed down the
creek , through the bars at the north ends of the enclosure, and that it was not till later
that the precaution was taken of putting wire-netting across the stream?. Ill-luck has
ever been the excuse of incompetence and the animal-lovers of Auckland are
becoming tired of its reiteration in connection with the zoo.
There is no ill-luck about it; it is either ignorance or crass stupidity on the part of
those who are paid to know their job. It only adds to the irritation felt when the
"authorities" coolly talk of taking precautions when the next baby hippo is born —
"probably next spring." They surely take a terrible lot for granted, more particularly m
the light of the remark of the official of the London Zoo:
"It is a most unusual thing for them to breed m captivity."
Such a statement to the local press borders on "eye-wash." The ratepayers do not like
to be handed out such unconvincing dope.
- NZ Truth 14 October 1926
Consignment of animals arrives from Montreal Canada
ANIMALS FOR AUCKLAND ZOO
(Special to "The Evening Post.")
AUCKLAND, This Day. Seven pairs of animals for the Auckland Zoo arrived
yesterday by the Canadian Scottish from Montreal. They are coyotes, racoons, prairie
marmots, snapping mud turtle, porcupines, "deodorised" skunks, and horned owls. All
the animals are in good health after the long journey. The coyotes appeared to be a
little frightened, but all were treated by the ship's company as pets.
Evening Post 13 November 1926
The Auckland Star reports Prairie Dogs intended to restock
the depleted numbers at Auckland Zoo were refused entry
into the country by Wellington. The animals were ordered
destroyed. The specimens at the Zoo were down to a
collection of three females from an original stock of ten
animals of mixed gender.70
NOT ALLOWED TO LAND. Folks who have visited the Auckland Zoo may
remember the prairie dogs, small animals, not unlike brown rats. An additional pair of
the "dogs" arrived by the steamer Canadian Scottish from Montreal on Friday last,
together with other animals and birds, but the Zoo authorities were informed from
Wellington that the "dogs" were not to be landed and they have since been destroyed.
The prairie,dog is a small American rodent, allied to the marmot. It inhabits the plains
west of the Mississippi, and burrows in the ground in large warrens. It has a sharp
bark like that of a dog, and is sometimes called a prairie marmot. Originally there
were ten of these "dogs" at the Auckland Zoo, but only three now remain. All three
A male brown bear kills a 15 month old sow (female) Russian
In a fit of jealousy' a big brown bear killed a small female of the Russian species at
the Auckland Zoo yesterday. There was a large number of visitors present when the
tragedy occurred. Most of them had thrown offerings of buns, fruit and nuts to the
bears. A preference which was shown to the youngster was apparently resented by the
larger animal, which savagely attacked the smaller, with the result that it died a little
while later. The victim was about 15 months old, and it had arrived with a
consignment of other animals from London about a month ago.
The Auckland Star reports a pair of Dromedary camels gifted
to the people of Auckland by the Wylie Expedition have
arrived from Sydney.72
CAMELS FOR THE ZOO.
ARRIVE BY THE MAHENO.
Two camels for the Auckland Zoo were brought from Sydney by the Maheno, which
arrived at Auckland this morning. The animals proved rather awkward to get aboard,
but on the voyage they gave no trouble. Fortunately the sea was unusually calm, and
their quarters in the hold apparently proved quite comfortable. They are a present to
the people of Auckland from Messrs Smith, Wylie, Ltd.
An interesting domestic event is expected shortly at the Auckland Zoo, as the birth of
a young hippopotamus is being awaited (says the "Star"). As a precaution, Mr. Hippo
has been put in a separate enclosure, this being deemed necessary on account of his
unseemly behaviour last year, when he savaged his offspring, with fatal results. The
Zoo officials state that it is very difficult to rear a baby hippo, and it is now known
that the latter has to be protected until it is able to fend for itself.
- Evening Post 10 September 1927
A Sea Leopard is captured on Karekare Beach and handed
over to Auckland Zoo
SEA LEOPARD CAPTURED
(Special to "The Evening Post")
AUCKLAND, This Day. A fine specimen of a sea leopard was captured oil the
Karekare Beach on Monday. The animal was found on the beach, and, when
approached showed fight. It was lassooed round the head and tail, and then, despite
violent struggles, it was sledged to the boarding-house, where it was accommodated
in the stable for the night.
The animal was accepted as a gift from the Karekare residents for the Auckland Zoo,
and yesterday it was brought by motor-lorry to its new home, where it soon settled
down peacefully with other marine exhibits. The sea leopard is seven feet in length,
and a beautiful soft grey colour, interspersed with black spots. It is a very rare visitor
to such a high latitude as Karekare.
Evening Post 12 October 1927
Birth of a Sea Lion at Auckland Zoo
A sea lion, of the southern species, has been born at the Auckland Zoo - the first
recorded birth in captivity of that species.
Sydney Morning Herald 13 January 1930
CRITICISM BY NZ TRUTH
Animals on the Rack for Amusement's Sake.
"Truth" Drags Skeletons From Zoological Cupboard
OPTIMISM, a reference library, one taxidermist, one head gardener and a parks
committee which knows nothing whatever about zoology are the main essentials for
running a zoo, if the Auckland Zoological Park may be taken as an example of how to
conduct an enterprise of this nature.
During the past four years there has been excessive mortality among the exhibits;
something is gravely wrong somewhere! There have been vehement protests to the
contrary and these declarations will continue to emanate from municipal spokesmen,
but it will take positive proof to convince "Truth" that everything m the zoological
gardens is anywhere approaching lovely.
Certainly when a giraffe, some baboons, a baby hippo, a couple of tigers, a polar bear
several toucans, chimpanzee and two orang-utan— among many other exhibits —
give up the ghost, an explanation should go forth to the public satisfactorily
accounting for their sudden demise.
So far, nobody has shown much inquisitiveness concerning the mortality at the
What the public does not know — and what it will never hear on its rambles m the
grounds at Grey Lynn— is the secret of the skeletons rattling in the zoological
This side of the Zoo is a closed book to ratepayers and visitors alike. The time has
come to exhume these buried mysteries!
"Truth" is determined to tear aside the veil. The Giraffe's Fate to all intents and
purposes, the enterprise at Grey Lynn is what it is represented to be, but — on the
solemn word of certain humane individuals employed at the Zoological Park — the
most, generous term that can be applied is that of animal experimental park.
Inexperience, carelessness, and lack of suitable accommodation.
Those are charges "Truth" levels at the municipal authorities. Information on which
these allegations are based comes from a source which makes skepticism impossible.
It reveals a state of affairs which calls for drastic reorganization— even punishment!
Read, carefully 'Truth's" questionnaire presented to the town clerk on Wednesday,
It caused something of a stampede in City Council circles. Could it be wondered at?
The ratepayers, who must carry the burden of any municipal enterprise, and the
public, who patronize the Zoo, are entitled to an answer to these questions.
Will they get it?
"Truth" could not after a persistent attempt lasting over three days.
Perhaps, to the average reader, who has so far accepted the verbose outpourings of
councillors concerning the Zoo, with blind faith, the questionnaire looks harmless
enough, though pertinent. To Mayor Baildon, Councillor Paterson, and the town clerk,
however, it looked just what it was — a large chunk of trouble! The ivy never clung to
the old garden wall half so tightly as this trio clung to the information asked for by
They did not require to have it hammered home to them before they realized that
something m the nature of a depth-charge was due to shake municipal authority out of
its autocratic lethargy.
On January 19, 1928, the parks committee reported to the City Council that it
regretted having to announce abnormal mortality at the Zoological Park during the
early part of December, 1927.
The committee stated that it found no evidence of neglect or carelessness, but it had
taken steps which it confidently anticipated would result m increased efficiency m the
working of the Zoo. If this committee delved at all into the mystery surrounding the
excessive mortality at the Zoo— not alone during December— why keep the details
such a close secret? The answer is obvious. It would not do for even the other
councillors to know— let alone the public — that, for instance, the death of the
giraffe, valued at about £250, a few weeks after its arrival was the giraffe
acommodated in the elephant house until a proper enclosure had been constructed.
In the elephant-house there was some spacing between the ceiling boards and in the
presence of quite a crowd of visitors about three weeks after its arrival the giraffe got
its head through one of these apertures. It came out of the squeeze a much distressed
animal; three days later it died.
All that a postmortem revealed was a broken blood vessel in the neck There was
nothing else wrong with the animal. From what "Truth" has beer able to glean
concerning the fatality it seems that the attendants warned the Zoo authorities that the
spacing constituted a menace. This loss cost the ratepayers close or £1000 for the
construction of an enclosure and stable which the giraffe never lived to occupy.
Further excavation brings to light the skeleton of the polar bear.
Officially, "Truth"- understands, it is recorded that this exhibit, one of five polar
bears, threw an epileptic fit or suddenly became paralysed and had to be shot in its
There is quite another story known to the whole of the Zoo staff, however, and it
bears no resemblance to the official record. Do members of the parks committee know
the unofficial story? Certainly the public does not.
The bear was shot after escaping from the bear-pit in the early 'hours of the morning!
Here are the rest of the details as told to "Truth."
Owing to the water outlet from the bear-pit becoming choked with bones and rubbish
the water in the pit rose to the level of the top of the walls enclosing the arena. One
bear escaped by dropping a matter of two feet over the wall into the Zoo grounds.
Fortunately, the night watchman happened to be doing his job and noticed the animal
near the lions,' arena. His first action was to shut off the water at the main and then
telephone Superintendent Aldridge from the Zoo office.
The bear was shot m the water buffaloes' enclosure about 4 a.m. and the carcass
dragged to a dump behind the elephant-house. "Truth" understands that this exhibit
was valued at £1000.
The Question arises:
Why was no attempt made to recapture this valuable animal? The answer is simple. In
the Auckland Zoo there are no facilities whatever to enable the staff to recapture an
escaped man-eater or other dangerous beast.
There are no nets. Just consider the position, for a moment. The only means the Zoo
possesses with which to cope with an escaped beast is a gun. Let it be accepted as an
established principle that the parks committee does not want its escaped exhibits shot,
if they can be recaptured. The only inference to be drawn from this extraordinary
situation in fact.
(From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Auckland Representative.)
For four years the rattling skeletons of the Auckland Zoo have remained buried m the
municipal vaults wherein lie hidden the blunders of incompetent ; officialdom and the
colossal ignorance of ill-assorted municipal representatives. From this secret history,
hitherto a sealed volume to the public, "Truth" will unfold revelations chapter by
chapter until the whole shameful story is told.
How reassuring it must be to Grey Lynn residents to know that if a leopard; or tiger
escapes, Aldridge will dash to a spot within earshot of the ferocious brute and yell:
"Put up your paws! Mind, if you move, I'll plug you full of lead!"
Was it something like this that was enacted in the quiet morning hours when, the
polar bear refused to be bluffed? ''Truth" would like to think it was not sheer,
So much for the polar bear. A little more delving in the zoological cupboard—and out
comes the skeleton of the female brown bear, purchased as a mate for "Teddy."
In their profound wisdom, the Zoo authorities decided that the female be placed in
"Teddy's" arena before the two bears had any chance to become acquainted. They
were complete strangers.
However, that female bear was in, the male bear immediately attacked the female,
pulled her under the water, held her there, banged her on the rocks and broke her
There were no appliances with which the animals could be separated. "Truth" does
not know the value of this exhibit. The tragedy happened some months ago. What a
superb exhibition of zoological knowledge!
Now read this refreshing paragraph culled from an interview granted by Curator
Griffin to an evening newspaper reporter on January 6, 1928:
"A recent arrival is a female brown bear as a mate for 'Teddy', but the curator says
that some caution will be necessary before the latter is introduced to his future wife.
Positively amazing! At any rate, it will come, as a relief to visitors and school
children, to know that the next mate for "Teddy" will not be slaughtered as a
Polar Bear Slaughtered In Escaping From Flooded Pit
The true story of the manner in which the baby hippo died has never been publicly
told. It is, in its way, an epic of colossal ignorance of even the rudiments of zoology.
The instinct of the female hippo prompted her to push the baby hippo under the
grating into the stream beyond. Yet — against the advice and warning of attendants
who had many years experience and knew what they were talking about — the
authorities insisted that the right place for the baby, hippo was m the arena with its
mother and her/mate. The male hippo immediately rushed the baby and killed it.
As "Truth" stated at the time, any farmhand could have predicted what would happen.
Reported interview with Curator Griffin on January 6, 1928:
"In some quarters it was thought that during the latter part of the year Bella, the
hippo, might have obliged the authorities by adding to the birth list, but it must be
pointed out that hippos breed only once in two years."
It might also, be pointed out that taie^ ; : ^-Qorarob%*Bito : se ' demand that the
baby hippo be protected from its male parent for the moment, let the "dead past bury
"Truth"' now proposes to deal with the living exhibits— and those on the verge of
passing to an animal kingdom beyond the reach of human inexperience and
carelessness. Any schoolboy could tell Curator Griffin and Superintendent Aldridge.
also members of the parks committee, that the sea is the natural environment of sea
lions, sea leopards and polar bears. There can be no excuse for folly and cruelty
perpetrated m the name of zoology!
There is one sea lion alive in the Zoo to-day. How long it will remain alive depends
on just how long it is forced to live in an element foreign to its nature. The fresh water
pool at the Zoo has contained a number of these exhibits and in no instance has one
lived longer than three years. The sea leopards last a matter of only a few months. The
last one died in a month without eating anything so far as could be seen.
Why continue to keep these animals in fresh water when there is a salt-water creek
only 200 yards away?
In March, 1926, a batch of monkeys arrived at the Zoo. They were, it is alleged, kept
in small cages 7 boxes with wire fronts for about ten months. These cages were three
feet long, two and a-half feet deep, and three feet high, with two monkeys to each
cage. There was no adequate building available for them at the time. The authorities
were repeatedly warned that these unfortunate animals — in their native element they
are tree climbers accustomed to unlimited freedom of movement— would become
paralysed in their hindquarters.
The first to show such ill-effects were two spider monkeys which had been brought
back by the town clerk. A form of paralysis set in due to lack of exercise of the leg
In order to exercise them, an official drove the two monkeys to the top of a trellis and
then poked at them to make them climb down again! One monkey fell, and was
caught in the trellis, breaking a leg.
The animal was taken to hospital, where the leg remained n plaster for five months.
Today these, wretched creatures may, still be seen dragging themselves miserably
The latest addition to the ever increasing death toll - is the remaining orang-utan.
It will be interesting to hear the official explanation of this further loss.
Town Clerk Brigham's comment after reading "Truth's" questionnaire was both
significant and enlightening.
In effect, the precise meaning of his reply was that it was not .customary for City
Council officials to receive inquiry from the Press for information when the nature of
the queries plainly indicated that; adverse criticism was likely, to follow.
"After considerable consideration, the mayor is not prepared to give the information."
That, at any rate, was definite, though hardly unexpected.
"The presumption is that your article is going to be critical and the mayor does not
feel disposed to give the information, as it is only right the acting chairman of the
parks committee be consulted before it is supplied."
The next day Town Clerk Brigham expressed regret. Councillor Paterson had not
returned and would not be back until the Friday morning. The town clerk was
informed that "Truth" did not propose to wait any longer for a member of the City
Council to make' up his mind to release the answers asked for in the questionnaire.
Brigham appeared to be anxious to supply the information, but determined that
somebody else must shoulder the responsibility.
He asked -'Truth" to wait but when Councillor Paterson turned up on the Friday, there
was nothing doing so far as he was, concerned; it was, he said; a matter for the Parks
Councillor Paterson thought the limit had been reached in the peregrinations of its
disturbing questionnaire — and said so.
The reception of "Truth's" questionnaire speaks for itself. The reason given for
refusing the information can only be compared with the frightened squeal of a
nervous child expecting to be very severely caned.
The "Sun" Shines, the effect on each successive individual, into whose hands the
questionnaire found its way seen is to have acted as an electric shock, each one
flinging it hastily from him as though he had picked up white-hot coal under the
mistaken impression that it was a cinder.
On Wednesday, February 1, a message was received from the town clerk's office to
this effect: "The town clerk is releasing some information to the papers concerning the
Zoo, if you care to send up, the information will be made available."
Knowing full well what this move meant, "Truth" merely thanked the official over
the telephone and stated that the information would not now be required.
The same 'afternoon a slab of "information" of a most eulogistic nature appeared in
the Auckland "Sun" as a desperate attempt to anticipate "Truth's" criticism.
This was the "Sun's" opening comment: -"A statement of a voluntary character— in
itself unusual—was this morning issued by the Auckland Town Hall covering the
history of the popular Zoo at Grey Lynn."
After perusing "Truth's" article, the editor of the "Sun" will perhaps awaken to the
true, reason for this surprising 'Voluntary statement" and realize that the City Council
most certainly sold his paper a pup.
- NZ Truth 9 February 1928
The arrival of the Sussex at Auckland is always an event of interest in view of the
varied cargoes she brings from India and the East.
On her latest voyage to New Zealand she brought a number of wild animals in
addition to her general cargo.
Two ungainly tapirs, which were shipped from Singapore, were intended for the
Auckland Zoo, but when cold and stormy weather was encountered off the
Queensland coast both animals died.
A Straits Settlements buffalo or wild ox, known as the ganoa, which was also shipped
from Singapore for the Auckland Zoo, survived the voyage. Six monkeys were taken
on board in India, but two died before reaching Auckland. The remaining four will be
sent to Dunedin.
The Evening Post 18 May 1928
Hippopotamus Calf (Pondo) born to Bella and Chaka. Chaka
was removed from the enclosure by Zoo staff to prevent
death or injury to the calf. Chaka had killed the first calf in
EIGHT STONE BABY
BIRTH AT AUCKLAND ZOO (By Telegraph.)
(Special to "The Evening Post")
AUCKLAND, This Day.
An eight-stone baby (possibly a boy) now noses around the huge bulk of Bella, the
female hippopotamus at Auckland.
Chaka, the father, who murdered the first one day old infant in September, 1926, has
during the past three months been discreetly withdrawn to another pond, but the iron
grating did not prevent him taking a note of what went on in his old home this
“Does he know what happened, in the next pond?” the curator was asked.
Ho replied. "Well, I rather think that he does. He has been very restless all the
Only one baby hippo has been born in the London Zoo during the last fifty years.
- Evening Post 12 January 1929
Wallabies and Kangaroos arrive 9 April on board the Manuka
The formation of the Auckland Zoological Society is announced by
Auckland City mayor G. Baildon
Sourced: A Tiger by the Tail – The History of Auckland Zoo 1922 – 1992 by Derek Wood with Robert
Mannion p. 46
An eland Calf is born at the zoo
The Evening Post reports the arrival of a pair of Jaguars on
the Port Hardie (arrived 11 April) for the Auckland Zoo. The
male jaguar had an operation on its tail during the sea
JAGUARS FOR ZOO
(By Telegraph.) I (Special to "The Evening Post.") I AUCKLAND, 11th April. Two
beautifully marked jaguars arrived by the Port Hardy to-day for the Auckland Zoo,
and also eighty white mice and rats, which were brought out by Doctor K. M. Begg
for cancer research. The doctor chloroformed the male jaguar on the trip for an
operation to its tail.
Third Hippopotamus calf born to Chaka and Bella – died at 5
hours old after the mother abandoned it.
A Mother's Negligence.
A hippopotamus was born at the Auckland Zoo yesterday, but died five hours after
birth owing to neglect by the mother.
The callous behaviour of the mother is puzzling the Zoo authorities. She refused to go
near the youngster. This is the third baby hippopotamus to be born at the Auckland
Zoo. The first was killed by its father, and the second is now two years old, a splendid
specimen of young male hippopotamus.
The Zoo authorities are extremely disappointed at the new arrival's death, as these
animals, are worth £400 when fully grown, and an inquiry had been received from an
Australian Zoo as to the possibility of purchasing a hippopotamus.
- Evening Post 3 November 1930
Arrival of ‘Jumbo’ the Indian Elephant from Beaumaris Zoo
Hobart on the Ulimara74
First North American Bison calf born in New Zealand
AMERICAN BISON CALF.
A North American bison calf was born at the Auckland Zoo. It is believed to be the
first one born in New Zealand.
Sydney Morning Herald (Aust.) 11 November 1930
Two animals are destroyed. An American Black bear
originally from J.J. Boyd’s Royal Oak Zoo and a North
American Bison (Bull) from Canada were destroyed. The
remains were fed to the carnivores at the zoo.
Two tiger cubs are born to the Bengal Tigers Raja and Molly
Birth of three Black Buck
OLD ANIMALS KILLED
AUCKLAND, This Day. The destruction, of some of the aged and infirm animals at
the Zoological Park has been decided upon by the Zoo authorities, and the first two
.beasts to be removed, a black bear and an American, bison, have been shot by order
of the parks committee of the City Council. Zoo officials stated yesterday that the
destruction of some of the more unsightly and unhealthy, animals was a necessary part
of zoo, economy, as the food they consumed in a year added substantially to the
annual expense, and the older an animal became the greater the burden it cast, upon
the staff, which was called upon to devote more time and attention to its health and
wellbeing. The black bear which has been killed was one of the bears exhibited in the
old Boyd collection, housed for some years; at Royal Oak. Its precise age was not
known, but it was a fairly ancient specimen when acquired by the municipal
authorities, in 1922, and hid been ailing, lately. The, bison, one of three bulls in the
park, was the first buffalo presented to Auckland by Canadian National Parks, and
was not regarded as a very good specimen. The flesh of the two destroyed beasts was
used to feed the other animals.
Two young Bengal tigers have been born at the Zoo—.the offspring of Raja and
Molly. Other recent-births include three black buck.
Evening Post 13 April 1931
Tortoise presented to the Auckland Zoo. Called ‘Perseus’ this
reptile could have possibly been an African Spurred Tortoise
*further research required to establish the correct subspecies
THREE YEARS AT SEA
GIFT TO AUCKLAND ZOO
(By Telegraph.) (Special to "The Evening Post")
AUCKLAND, 11th September.
A tortoise which, during the last three years, has voyaged about 70,000 miles on the
steamer Tongariro, has found a permanent home ashore in the Auckland Zoo.
The creature, which is of the African tiger species, measures 7 inches by 10 inches on
its underside, and is the largest of its kind in Auckland.
The tortoise has an interesting history. It was named Perseus—Percy for short—by the
ship's company, and was originally bought for 3s 6d by the third engineer of the
vessel, Mr. R. Butler, from an Arab, when the Tongariro called at Port Said three years
Perseus became a favourite on board, and had the freedom of the ship.
Ownership changed hands two or three times, the purchase price on one occasion
being a dozen bottles of ale.
Eventually it was acquired by the fifth engineer, Mr. R. Bailey. Although the pet made
it a habit to crawl here, there, and everywhere about steel decks, Providence looked
after it backward and forward over the ocean, and up and down the coasts of many
Beginning to find Perseus an exacting charge, the fifth engineer offered the tortoise to
the Auckland Zoo authorities.
After formalities had been carried out, including the giving-of a clean bill of health
and permission to stay here permanently, Percy was handed over to the curator of the
Zoo, after his shell had been burnished by the engineer.
- The Evening Post 12 September 1931
The fourth hippo calf is born to Bella and Chaka just after
midnight on New Year’s Day . This calf was known by the
name “Zulu”. He was later sold to the Adelaide Zoo and was
renamed “Newsboy”. This animal became one of Adelaide
Zoo’s most popular attractions until his death in 1977 aged
around 45 years old.
Baby Hippo Born As Auckland Clocks Strike Midnight
Auckland, January 1.
The Auckland Zoo received an acceptable New Year gift in the form of a
hippopotamus, which was born as the clocks were chiming in the New
- The Advertiser 2 January 1932
“Zulu” the fourth hippopotamus calf of Chaka and Bella sent
of the ‘Monowai’ to Adelaide Zoo
Also sent to Adelaide Zoo on the ‘Monowai’
2 Pairs of Paradise Shell Ducks
1 Pair of Egyptian Geese
1 Pair of Keas
SEA TRIP FOR HIPPOPOTAMUS
Auckland's strangest recent export, a two year old male hippopotamus, was shipped,
by the Monowai recently, bound for the Adelaide Zoo. The animal had as chaperon
Mr. Minchin, son of the curator of the Adelaide Zoo, who came to Auckland specially
to take delivery of his cumbrous charge from the Auckland City Council, states the
"New Zealand Herald."
"Zulu," as the young hippopotamus was known at the Auckland Zoo, where he was
born, gave every indication of being a model passenger. The boxing and bedding of
such a bulky creature for a sea voyage presented the Auckland Zoo authorities with a
novel task, but, largely due to the docile conduct of the animal, the problem was
The price at which "Zulu" changed hands has not been disclosed, but is stated to be
"quite satisfactory." The Adelaide Zoo authorities were very keen to make the
purchase, the funds for which were voluntarily subscribed by enthusiasts in that city.
Also travelling by the Monowai to the same ultimate destination were two pairs of
paradise ducks, one pair of Egyptian geese, and one pair of keas. They were
accommodated in wooden cages, fitted with wire-netting. It is hoped to secure further
exhibits for the Auckland Zoo in exchange for these birds.
Another Auckland Zoo exhibit shortly to leave for Adelaide is the female Polar bear.
A crate even larger than the one constructed for the hippopotamus will be required for
the leave, which will probably sail toward the end of this month.
The Auckland Zoo's collection of Polar bears will then be restricted to three males.
- 6 January 1934
Daisy a female Polar Bear is transferred Taronga Park Zoo
POLAR BEAR'S VOYAGE. (This was ‘Daisy’ a female bear for Adelaide Zoo)
Dislike of Life in Small Cage.
Looking particularly docile, and placidly blinking at the sun through the bars of his
small cage on the top deck of the Monowai, a Polar bear arrived in Sydney from
In reality he is extremely ferocious, and it was only with great difficulty that the
Auckland Zoo authorities were able to cage him for the voyage. He should have come
on the vessel's last trip, with a hippopotamus, but nothing could lure him into his
temporary quarters. During the voyage he has made several determined but ineffective
attempts to scratch his way out, his claws being as sharp as razors.
The bear eats, among other things, a 101b joint of beef daily, and especially
appreciates his baths, which consist of a thorough hosing down with salt water every
few hours. Fresh water is also given him by means of a hose, which he holds between
his paws and inserts into his mouth. He is worth about £200. He is going to the
- The Sydney Morning Herald 29 January 1934
Transfer of Female Polar Bear to Adelaide Zoo announced for
the end of the month
5th Hippopotamus Calf born to ‘Bella’ and ‘Chaka’
BIRTH AT AUCKLAND ZOO
(By Telegraph—Press Association.)
AUCKLAND, This Day. A baby hippopotamus was born at the Auckland Zoo early
this morning. It is the fifth offspring of Bella and Chaka during the last seven years,
all the four previous births were males, two of which were sold to the Perth and
Adelaide Zoos respectively. It is hoped that this one is a female, as it will command a
higher price than the others have done. There is always keen public interest in these
Evening Post 9 November 1935
5th Hippopotamus Calf dies after flooding hits the zoo and
was crushed against a bank. He died of broken ribs and
Death in Auckland Zoo.
AUCKLAND (N.Z.), Dec. 7.
Auckland Zoo's baby hippopotamus has died from Internal Injuries, including broken
ribs. Heavy rain flooded the creek where the baby lived with its mother, and the flood
dashed him against a bank. Next morning attendants found him dead. He was worth
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Aust.) 9 December 1935
The third Canadian bison calf to bred at Auckland Zoo is
born to the pair named Bill and Dainty75
BORN AT AUCKLAND ZOO. The chief attraction to visitors at the Auckland Zoo
yesterday was a baby bison which had been born during the weekend. The parents are
Bill and Dainty, the largest pair of Canadian bison at the zoo. The latest addition to the
family is the third bison to be born at the Auckland Zoo, and is a little larger and more
sturdily built, though somewhat similar in colouring to a Jersey calf.
The last remaining Polar Bear at Auckland is destroyed
because of an incurable fungoid disease
- A Tiger by the Tail P. 121
The decision is made to shoot Rajah the male elephant
Rajah one of the two elephants at the Auckland Zoo was shot this morning by order
of the Zoo authorities, as he was considered likely to have become a menace to public
safety, he having lately ‘turned rogue’ necessitating precautions.
The elephant was valued at £500, but will not be a total loss, as the skin is to be
stuffed for the War Memorial Museum Auckland.
-Evening Post 9 March 1936
Rajah’s body was cut up. The meat fed to the carnivores at
the Zoo. The skeleton and the hide were sent to the
Auckland War Memorial Museum for Taxidermist C Dover to
mount for display
Food for the Lions
No time was lost at the Auckland Zoo on Monday in disposing of the body of the
elephant Rajah, which was shot for bad temper and thus had become a danger to the
The taxidermist Mr C.W. Dover, assisted by three zoo attendants, worked all
afternoon to remove the hide.
Rajah weighed nearly 4 tones at the time of his death, and the block and tackle and a
lifting jack had to used to lift his body into a suitable position for the men to start
work with their sharp knives, states the ‘New Zealand Herald’.
A makeshift screen was erected so that visitors to the zoo might not see the
Lions and tigers had elephant meat for afternoon tea yesterday.
Evening Post 11 March 1936
Angel a Sea Lion purchased from a travelling showman dies
after 26 days at Auckland Zoo
AUCKLAND'S SEA LION DIES
Angel, the young Australian sea lion which was recently acquired by the Auckland
Zoological Park authorities from a travelling showman, is dead (states the "New
Zealand Herald"). She was sold when her mate died,, but whether she was suffering
from a broken heart or some more material trouble, Angel did not live long to enjoy
her new surroundings, and died after only 26 days at the zoo. A postmortem is being
held. The sea lion was the first at the zoo for several years and was notable on account
of its small size, being only three feet long. However, three sea lions of a Californian
species are expected from San Diego in a few weeks.
Evening Post 9 April 1936
American Black Beer, Puma, Racoons, Spider Monkeys and
Californian Sea Lions purchased in USA
NEW ZOO EXHIBITS
ANIMALS FROM AMERICA.
BLACK BEAR AND SEA LIONS.
Fifteen animals have been purchased by the City Council for the Auckland Zoo and
are now on their way to New Zealand in the steamer Golden Bear, which has left Los
Among the purchases is a male black bear which has been acquired as a companion
to the female black bear now in the Auckland Zoo, where it was born. There are also
three sea lions, and these, with the sea lion recently purchased by the council from a
visiting showman, will give the council two pairs of these interesting animals. For a
few years after the zoo was opened the ponds were well stocked with seals and sea
lions, and their graceful actions always made them a centre of attraction. At that time
the council, had no difficulty in keeping the ponds stocked as the visits made to the
Auckland and Campbell Islands by the Government steamer Hinemoa made it
possible to get new specimens. However, this source of supply is no longer
available. ; Other animals, in the consignment, are four spider monkeys, one pair of
puma, four male racoons and one (article did not continue details of species left out)
The Mercury 29 April 1936
Visitor to the zoo Henry Taylor has his hands clawed by a
leopard while he was leaning on the rail.
CLAWED BY LEOPARD. Zoo Visitor's Experience.
AUCKLAND, June 23.An elderly man, Henry Taylor, had an unpleasant experience while he was leaning
against a rail at the Auckland zoo looking at a pair of leopards. While his head was
turned, one of the beasts leapt at him and clawed both of his hands, each being badly
lacerated. Mr. Taylor's son and another man had difficulty in freeing his hands. Mr.
Taylor was taken to hospital but was allowed to go home after his hands had been
- The West Australian (Aust.) 24 June 1936
‘Snowball’ a Polar Bear cub bred at Taronga Park Zoo is sent
to Auckland Zoo
SNOWBALL, A REAL 'MOTHER'S BOY’ OFF TO AUCKLAND
Snowball, a young Polar bear, who was born at Taronga Park last year, has been sold
to the Auckland zoo, and will shortly make the Tasman crossing.
Snowball, which is the second bear that has been reared at Taronga Park, is regarded
as a fine specimen. The first Taronga polar bear was sent to Cairo. A special box is
being constructed in which Snowball will travel as deck cargo. Tin lining is being
fitted to prevent him tearing his way to freedom on board the ship.
Closely set bars in front of the box are an additional precaution. Since his birth,
Snowball has been a real mother's boy. This will be the first time that he has ever
been, separated from her said the secretary (Mr, Brown).
Taronga Park is the only zoo in Australia that has bred Polar bears satisfactorily. There
is a ready market for healthy specimens.
Courier-Mail (Aust.) 25 June 1936
New Polar Bears for Zoo.
An endeavour is being made by the Auckland City Council to obtain, a number of
polar bears to stock the pool at the Zoo (states the ."New Zealand Herald"). None of
the original family of polar bears is now left, and inquiries are being made with the
idea of acquiring two young males and two young females.
Already the council has secured a two-year-old male bear from the Taronga Park Zoo
in Sydney and it is expected that this animal will be sent to Auckland in the near
future. The council has communicated with zoo authorities in England with a view to
purchasing another young male and two young females. Although Auckland had a
number of these bears, kept in ideal surroundings, no young bears were ever born
there, but it is hoped that with young new stock it will be possible to look for the
The bear which is being sent from Sydney was born in the Taronga Park Zoo, so that
with conditions comparable with those in the Australian centre it is felt that there is
every hope that the animals will breed in captivity in Auckland.
Another exhibit which should arrive for the Zoo within the next few months is a sun
bear, which has been bought in Singapore to replace the animal which recently died. It
is claimed that there are no better lions in captivity than those in the Auckland Zoo.
The present family was bred from two jungle lions of magnificent physique and all
are in excellent health.
- Evening Post 6 July 1936
6th Hippopotamus calf born to Chaka and Bella
Giant Tortoise dies at the zoo
(By Telegraph—Press Association.) AUCKLAND, September 17.
The death took place at the Auckland Zoo of the giant tortoise which was imported
last January, and which had proved to be one of the institution's most popular exhibits.
Auckland's climate had proved too severe for this arrival from the tropical latitudes of
the Seychelles Islands. Though the age of the tortoise was not known, it was
considered to be about 35 or 40. It was provided with specially heated quarters at
night throughout the winter, but its health gradually failed, and no efforts by its
keepers could bring about an improvement.
- The Evening Post 18 September 1937
Death of Chaka the male hippopotamus from a tennis ball in
the gut. Chaka died after 6 days of illness.
TENNIS BALL KILLS HIPPOPOTAMUS.
Thrown Into Mouth.
AUCKLAND ZOO'S LOSS.
Chaka, the Auckland Zoo's male hippopotamus, died today as a result of having
swallowed a tennis ball, believed to have been thrown Into his mouth by a visitor
about six days ago. Chaka had been in agony since swallowing the ball, which was
found in a post-mortem examination.
Chaka was bought in London for nearly £ 400. He was 17 years old.
- Sydney Morning Herald 14 October 1937
Keeper W. Hawke is attacked by a 10 year old American
Black Bear while cleaning out its enclosure
Four Blue Tongue Lizards are born enroute to Auckland Zoo
from Taronga Zoo from the original group (four) purchased.
AUCKLAND ZOO GETS BARGAIN
AUCKLAND (N.Z.), March.,28 - When the Auckland Zoo bought four blue-tongued
lizards from the Taronga Park Zoo, in Sydney, it bought more wisely than it knew,
because on the voyage across the Tasman Sea four more, lizards were born.
- Barrier Miner (Aust.) 30 March 1938
The first Macaque or Pigtail monkey is born at Auckland Zoo
BIRTH AT AUCKLAND ZOO
Because of its commercial value in Eastern countries special interest attaches to the
birth at the Auckland Zoo of a macaque, or pigtail monkey, states today's "New
Zealand Herald." This is the first, macaque that has been born in Auckland and
probably in New Zealand.
In the Malay States a group of macaques are unique in that they are probably the only
animals in the world officially listed on the pay roll of a civil service. Attached to the
State Forest Service, these animals are highly trained and are used to collect seeds,
orchids, nuts, or anything else indicated to them in trees or other places difficult of
access to humans. For these services the monkeys are credited with nuts to the value
of five dollars a month. Private persons also train the monkeys and hire them out for
the collection of nuts and fruit. Well-trained animals bring very high prices and are a
source of considerable income to their owners. The young macaque at the Auckland
Zoo is making excellent progress. Its parents were presented to the zoo about a year
ago by Mr. Watney Sibun.
- Evening Post 5 September 1938
Lion Cubs born to Lioness Trixie and Lion Victor.
Four in the litter one crushed by Trixie - 3 surviving. Noted
this was the pair’s 7th litter
New Female Hippopotamus ‘Nada’ arrives from Taronga Park
Arrival of Giant Tortoises from the Seychelles
New pair of Ostriches from Melbourne Zoo
Chimpanzee sent back to Singapore in exchange for Orangutan
Plan for Capuchin Monkeys to be imported from Melbourne
(Special to the "Evening Post.") AUCKLAND, This Day. Several important additions
will be made to the stock at the Auckland Zoo during the next few weeks with the
arrival from abroad of recently purchased exhibits. A young female hippopotamus
bought at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, is expected by the Awatea tomorrow.
The new hippopotamus will be named Nada and will be mated with Dimazulu, the
only male hippopotamus at the Auckland Zoo since the death of his father, Chaka,
nearly two years ago. Nada is about two years old.
Notable arrivals from the Seychelles towards the end of the month will be a pair of
giant tortoises. These should be of particular interest judging from the popularity of a
reptile of the same species which died over a year ago and which is now a prominent
exhibit at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
After a lapse of many years ostriches will be again represented at the zoo with the
early importation of a pair from the Melbourne Zoo. Two capuchin monkeys are to be
brought from the same source.
One of two recently imported chimpanzees has been returned to Singapore in
exchange for an orang-utang, which is expected in the spring. Orangutangs have not
previously been exhibited in Auckland.
- Evening Post 13 March 1939
Animals die from panic after frightened by quarry blasting
Dead Animals included: Two Black Buck, 1 Fallow Deer, 1
Kangaroo. A total of 19 animals died.
IN PANIC AMONG ZOO ANIMALS.
AUCKLAND (N.Z.), Aug.5.
Blasting in quarries near the Auckland Zoo resulted in the deaths of 19 timid animals,
which stampeded into fences. The losses included two black buck, a fallow deer, and
a kangaroo, all of which broke their necks or backs. Showers of stones fell in the zoo
grounds endangering the staff and visitors.
- Cairns Post (Aust.) 7 August 1939
Young Sea Lion found in an exhausted state in the Kaipara
River and sent to Auckland Zoo for treatment
UNDER CARE AT AUCKLAND
(By Telegraph—Press Association.)
AUCKLAND, August 7
Found in an exhausted state in the Kaipara River during the weekend, a baby sea-lion
has been forwarded to the Auckland Zoo for care and treatment. Fed on fish and cod
liver oil since its arrival, the animal has made good progress, and the zoo officials
believe it will recover completely.
The sea-lion is of the Australian variety as distinct from the Californian type
exhibited at the zoo. About 2ft 6in long, it is thought to be between six months and a
year old. It is very tame and easy to handle.
The belief that the sea-lion was making its way north in order to reach warmer waters
was expressed by the curator of the zoo, Lieutenant-Colonel Sawer. Because of the
extremely cold winter, the sea-lions generally appeared to be moving north, as was
indicated by reports stating that they had been seen at various points on the coast.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sawer added that, compared with the species exhibited at the zoo,
the Australian sea-lion was lighter in colour and possessed a larger head and ears.
The baby sea-lion's stay at the zoo may be only of temporary duration, for the species
is strictly protected and a permit to retain it will have to be secured. Application for
this permit is being made immediately.
- The Evening Post 8 August 1939
The Auckland Star reports that one of three leopard cubs
had died as a result of the mother lying on it.76
As a result of the mother lying on it in the den, one of the three leopard cubs born at
the Auckland Zoo recently has been killed. The other two cubs, however, are making
Joe the Orangutan steals a bottle from a baby and drinks it
before keepers could get if off him. Voted Auckland Zoo’s
Joe, Zoo’s Bad Boy, Takes To the Bottle
Joe, the orang-outang of Auckland Zoo, is in disgrace because he sank so low as to
rob a baby in its perambulator. Joe, it appears, could not resist the bottle from which
the baby was about to have its lunch. Baby's indignant screams brought help, but not
before the bottle was empty. Baby was sent home in a taxi with mother for a refill,
and Joe was voted bad boy No. 1 of Auckland Zoo.
The Mail (Aust.) 2 March 1940
180 Colour Morph Mice presented to Auckland Zoo
These Pink Mice are Real
Inebriates who visit Auckland Zoo will get an unpleasant shock. They may not see
pink elephants, but they certainly will see pink mice, furthermore, they win see
piebald mice, black, blue, chocolate, silver, fawn, and cinnamon colored mice. If that
is not enough, they may even see champagne-colored mice. One hundred and eighty
mice presented to the zoo authorities are housed in 70 cages. They arc descendants of
20 valuable stud mice imported three years ago. Similar mice have never been seen in
New Zealand before.
The Mail 30 March 1940
Two Giant Petrels are sent to Auckland Zoo from Waihi77
Two giant petrels have been added to the collection at the Auckland Zoo. Both the
birds, which are rare in New Zealand waters, came ashore at Waihi Beach, where they
were taken care of by Mrs. C. A. Rae until they could be, sent to Auckland. The giant
petrel is remarkable for its great wing-spread, and is usually found in the high
Death of Auckland Zoo’s last remaining Polar Bear Snowball
(born at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney)
No Polar Bears
The last polar bear at the Auckland Zoo is dead. It survived its companions by over
two years and during that time was the sole possessor of the elaborate whitewashed
pit fitted up for these animals. They were one of the principal attractions at any zoo,
but under war conditions it is difficult, if not impossible, to replace them.
Evening Post 7 May 1942
The Auckland Star Reports that a Zebroid has been
presented to the Zoo by a resident of Kaukapakapa. The
animal had most likely been bred and formerly owned by
Wirth Brothers Circus.78
ZEBROID IN AUCKLAND
PRESENTED TO THE ZOO Auckland has a zebroid. and it is one of the new exhibits
at the Auckland Zoo. This strange animal is a cross between a zebra mare and a horse,
and it is stated that as far as is known there are only three of them in the world. The
animal was at one time an exhibit in a circus which visited New Zealand, but for some
time has been in the Kaukapakapa district. It was presented to the zoo a week ago.
The zebroid is like a cob in appearance, with a straight mane. It has light and dark
brown stripes, and the zebra's call. Sturdy in appearance, the animal is considered to
be seven or eight years old.
Auckland Zoo negotiates with Taronga Park Zoo for a 12 year
old male Polar Bear to replace Snowball who died the
Polar Bear for Zoo.
If negotiations with the Taronga Zoological Park Trust, Sydney, are successful, the
polar bear pit at the Auckland Zoo should be occupied presently by a male bear 12
years of age, which is under offer. The Auckland City Council's parks committee
recommended that a sum not exceeding £100 be spent in procuring the exhibit. This
- Evening Post 27 June 1942
Ostrich dies of copper poisoning from visitors giving it
Ostrich Died Of Too Many Pennies
AUCKLAND. — Auckland's veteran zoo ostrich has died of copper poisoning. In its
crop were found 34 pennies. 11 halfpennies, four three pences, a five-cent piece.
Said zoo curator Sawyer: — 'The bird was brutally murdered. By giving coins to the
ostrich, people condemned it to a wretched, lingering death.'
This is the third ostrich the zoo has lost through copper poisoning.
Some years ago a £500 hippopotamus died while trying to swallow a tennis ball,
which had been thrown into its mouth.
“Teddy” a Syrian Brown Bear dies at Auckland Zoo the bear
was obtained from the Boyd collection in 1922. It was named
as the Zoo’s oldest resident.80
Teddy, the Syrian, bear at the Auckland Zoological Park, died painlessly in his sleep
at the reputed age of more than 60. One of the most affectionate animals at the zoo,
Teddy, in his later years, developed this characteristic to an excess and hugged.two.
wives to death. He was the oldest animal in the zoo collection, and was introduced 22
NZ Government refuses permission to Auckland Zoo to swap
a kiwi egg with Melbourne Zoo for a platypus.
KIWI EGG SWAP PROHIBITED
AUCKLAND. Thursday.-The Government has refused to allow the Auckland Zoo
authorities to send a Kiwi egg to the Melbourne Zoo in exchange for a platypus.
It stated that the Kiwi is a protected animal, and the taking of its eggs was similar to
taking live birds.
-Sydney Morning Herald (Aust.) 5 July 1946
Auckland Zoo tries for the record at claiming they have the
world’s oldest captive puma
N.Z. Zoo Has Methuselah
Auckland Zoo believes it has the Methuselah of pumas. It is seeking recognition of a
claim for a world longevity record now the puma has reached the age of 17 years.
Naturalists say it is almost unheard of for a puma to live 10 years. A check with
London Zoo supports the claim.
- Barrier Miner (Aust.) 29 April 1948
The last polar bear alive at Auckland Zoo dies. It was
imported from Taronga Park Zoo in 1942 aged 12 years,
after its predecessor ‘Snowball’ also from Taronga Park Zoo
(imported 1936 at 2 years old) passed away in 1942 as the
article below states.
POLAR BEAR DIES OF OLD AGE
(A.A.P.-Reuter).-The only polar bear at Auckland Zoo has died of old age.
It is believed that the bear, which came from Taronga Park, Sydney, in 1942, was
more than 20 years old.
- Sydney Morning Herald 27 July 1949
Problems with the importation of two polar bears from an
Antwerp based dealer are encountered.
No Licence for Bears
AUCKLAND, N.Z., Friday (A.A.P.-Reuter).
Currency difficulties will prevent Auckland Zoo from getting two young Polar hears
an Antwerp firm recently offered the City Council.
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Walter Nash, has advised the Deputy Mayor of
Auckland that because of currency difficulties a licence to import animals could not
There are no Polar bears in the zoo at present.
Sydney Morning Herald 25 September 1949
Polar Bears Natuk (male), Natasha (Female) and Brunus
(male) arrive from Norway via London
- A Tiger by the Tail P. 120
A Female Leopard escapes from Auckland Zoo
LEOPARD AT LARGE
FROM AUCKLAND ZOO
A half-grown leopard has escaped from the Auckland Zoo. It has not been seen in its
enclosure since Monday.
The Canberra Times (Aust.) 15 March 1950
A male emu stays sitting on eggs during a weekend of
flooding at Auckland Zoo
"Stayed Put" In Flood
Auckland;-A male emu trying to hatch 13 eggs at Auckland Zoo did not budge when
floodwaters swept over the eggs. The eggs were half submerged for an hour.
Zoo officials are wondering if the water has damaged them beyond hope of
incubation. The emu had been sitting on the eggs for five weeks in the open through
record frosts, rain, and hail.
Heavy rain at the weekend caused the Zoo stream to rise. When officials found the
eggs awash they spent an hour frantically digging, barricading, and building
- Barrier Miner (Aust.) 26 July 1951
11 Year old girl has her index finger bitten off by a hyena
1 Bite, 1 finger
AUCKLAND, Sunday.— A hyena at Auckland Zoo bit off the left index finger of 11
year old Girl Guide, Patricia Gibson, when she ran her hand along; its wire fence.
The Courier-Mail (Aust.) 12 November 1951
OLDEST PUMA DIES OF LIVER TROUBLE
Auckland (AP) – A 22 year old puma believed to be the world’s oldest in captivity,
died on Monday at Auckland Zoo. Zoo authorities decided in 1948 that the animal
should be destroyed because she was feeble, but reports in newspapers brought so
many appeals from animal lovers that she was granted a reprieve. She died finally
from liver trouble.
- The Calgary Herald Wednesday 10 December 1952
‘Percy’ the Kiwi former resident at Auckland Zoo leaves NZ
for London Zoo.
This Bird was renamed ‘Ngapuhi”
OUT OF HIS ELEMENT
Ngapuhi the Kiwi, one of New Zealand's almost extinct flightless birds, looks lost
and far from his bushland home as he takes a look at San Francisco en route by air to
Ngapuhi was named Percy when he lived in Auckland Zoo, but representations were
made by N.Z. authorities that he be renamed Ngapuhi after a leading Maori tribe.
Holding the rare, long-beaked bird is Mr Fred Roemer chief keeper of the San
- The Mercury (Aust.) 25 September 1953
Six Bonnet Monkeys enjoy freedom for two weeks during
June. Three were later caught while three others remained
Six monkeys on the loose
AUCKLAND Zoo authorities, who have been at their wits' end for a fortnight trying
to catch six Bonnet monkeys that escaped into trees near the Zoo, found a chink in
monkey shrewdness today - RUM!
One "drunk," who wined and dined too well on rum-soaked food, is now sleeping it
off in custody.
The monkeys have been having a joyous time in trees backing; private houses,
feeding on bananas left by the neighborhood's happy children, and pelting pursuers
with the skins.
One resident, Mrs. D. M. Belsham, earlier caught two of the monkeys in a chicken
The remaining three today were still making rude noise from the safety of the
branches, when keepers arrived to take their intoxicated friend away in a sack.
Meanwhile, a neighboring fruit shop continues its roaring trade supplying children
with "monkey delicacies."-A.A.P.
- The Argus (Aust.) 21 June 1954
Elephant Keeper Frank Lane is accidently killed by Jamuna
"Children's elephant" kills her keeper
- Auckland, Tuesday
Jamuna, a female elephant, killed her keeper at Auckland Zoo today.
The keeper was Frank Wallace Lane, 67, who had just taken over the job. The former
keeper died a month ago.
Jamuna had been at Auckland Zoo more than 20 years and has carried thousands of
children. Lane was leaving Jamuna's stall at feedtime when the elephant swung her
trunk idly and knocked him against a concrete wall. Jamuna then swung her trunk
again crushing Lane's skull, killing him instantly.
Mr. Robert Roach, zoo director, suggests that Jamuna might have been fretting for the
former keeper. He doesn't think it was a vicious attack.
Jamuna appeared frightened about what happened, he said.
The Argus (Aust.) 18 August 1954
Elephant panics when a helicopter flies over Auckland Zoo
Auckland. New Zealand. Jan 4 (AP)
An elephant at Auckland Zoo panicked at the sight of a helicopter from the United
States icebreaker Atka today, scrambled from its bath and stampeded for half a mile,
scattering visitors. A keepers’ wrist was broken before the animal was calmed.
Spokane Daily Chronicle (USA) 4 January 1955
Tea Party Chimpanzees arrive at Auckland Zoo from Regent’s
Park Zoo 81
Orang utans Topsy and Turvy arrive from Taronga Park Zoo.
They were imported from Singapore for Auckland Zoo. 82
The first performance of the Tea Party Chimpanzees takes
- A Tiger by the Tail P. 73
Twin Polar Bears are born at Auckland Zoo.
According to ‘A Tiger by the Tail’ (Derek Wood) only one cub survived. This was
Twin Bears in N.Z. Zoo
Twin polar bears were born at Auckland Zoo at the weekend.
Officials said the only other polar bear known to have been born in captivity in a
temperate climate is “Brumas” of London Zoo
The Age Tuesday 18 June 1957
Auckland Zoo visitors watch in horror as Piwi the polar bear
cub drowns accidentally, when his mother held him too low
on her chest, while they were swimming. Zoo staff, were
unable to get near the bears for several hours. The mother
bear stood guard over the cub’s body for some time, after
she had pulled it out of the water.
A photo caption in The Herald Journal dated 1 September 1957
shows an image of the female polar bear holding the dead cub in
her jaws the caption states:
Drowned by mother
A mother polar bear carries her baby from the water of a pool in the Auckland Zoo in
New Zealand after she accidentally drowned the 11 weeks old cub while playing with
it. The accident was witnessed by a crowd of several hundred. The mother stood
guard over the lifeless form for sometime after she pulled it out of the water.
The Herald Journal 1 September 1957
The Children’s zoo is opened83
Second group of four Tea Party Chimpanzees imported from
Birth85 of Chimo the Polar bear at Auckland Zoo to ‘Natasha’
“Sydney” a male Kangaroo presented by the Auckland
Zoological Society dies from Tetanus87
Derek Wood arrives in New Zealand to take up his new
position as Superintendent of Auckland Zoological Gardens 88
Giraffe ‘John’ aged three years arrives in Auckland on board
the Illyric. John was unloaded without any incident and
transported to Auckland Zoological Gardens where it was
reported he had arrived in ‘good condition’89
Theft of weekend takings from the Zoological Park office
safe is reported. The Zoo Office had been ransacked and the
Zoo safe key had been used to access the safe. Total takings
Death of an Eland is reported. The animal was part of a
group of Eland that were gifted to Auckland Zoological
Gardens by the Taronga Park Trust, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
A necropsy was carried out by the Zoo veterinarian. The
veterinarian was of the opinion that ‘the death followed a
loss of condition consequent upon the transportation of the
animal from Australia in conjunction with the very inclement
weather at the time of arrival’.91
Asian elephant ‘Malini’ arrives in Auckland. Malini was a gift
from the Indian Government to the people of Auckland. 92
“I have to report the arrival of the gift elephant from India
on August 4th. This animal came on the s.s. “Garbeta” and
was accompanied by Mr Archayya, an Indian Forest Officer,
who will stay at the Zoo for three months or until the Zoo
staff and can undertake its further training.”
Lioness ‘Noeline’ gives birth to four cubs
Hippopotamus ‘Nada’ gives birth to a calf.93
Natuk the Polar is euthanized after developing abcesses due
to an infective an incurable skin condition. 94
Natasha the female polar bear dies after a considerable
deterioration in her condition. 95
“I have to report the death of Natasha the female polar bear
at the Auckland Zoo on 4th December 1962.”
“This animal died as a result of a long standing skin
complaint which would not respond to treatment and
became steadily worse, culminating in the death of the
animal. This is the second polar bear we have lost from this
trouble. The bear Natuk had to be destroyed last year.”
Chimpanzee Tea Parties are phased out by Auckland City
Brunus the second male Polar Bear dies from an incurable
parasitic fungoid condition97
A pregnant Zebra is imported from Chester Zoo98
Female Giraffe ‘Anita’ arrives from Regent’s Park Zoo99
Polar Bears Lisbeth and Joachim arrive from Copenhagen
Four Canadian Timber Wolves escape from their enclosure101
Chimpanzee ‘Minnie’ dies of a coronary attack following a
The Edmonton Journal (Canada) reports Jamuna is being
retired due to a hormone imbalance.103
“After 42 years service, Jamuna, an elephant at the
Auckland Zoo has been given sick leave.”
“Jamuna is believed to have given rides to nearly 1,000,000
children since she began working at the zoo in 1923. Lately
she has been out of sorts with a hormone imbalance.”
Asian Elephant Jamuna dies aged around 40 years104
Giraffe ‘Joanne’ born105
‘Punch and Judy’ shows are introduced106
The NZI Nocturnal House is opened to display Kiwi107
Kashin, the Elephant Arrives at Auckland Zoo from St Paul’s
Como Zoo, Minnesota USA.
Kashin’s original name was Zona. She was born in 1968 and
was four years old when she arrived in December of 1972.
The French UTA flight she was on had a burst tyre. Auckland
Airport Emergency Services were on standby when the jet
came in for landing.
The Auckland Savings Bank (now ASB) purchased Zona as a
gift to Auckland Zoo.
She was renamed Kashin in acknowledgement of her
donation by the bank.
During the 1970’s and later decades the ASB featured
Kashin in commercial advertising, there were also children’s
piggy banks in the image of the ASB elephant.
ELEPHANT KEEPS COOL IN DANGER
Unperturbed by Peril in Plane Landing
Auckland, New Zealand (AP)
A 4 year old elephant from St. Paul, Minnesota, has settled in Auckland after a
The nose wheel tyre was flat on the French UTA airliner that brought the elephant,
and an exhibition of French medieval art to New Zealand via Tahiti on Dec. 8.
Reports from Honolulu said the tyre burst during take off from the Hawaiian capital.
Emergency services at Auckland airport stood by as the DC-8 circled overhead, and
officials inspected the nosewheel through binoculars. When the decision was made
Captain A. Murat the pilot, made a smooth touch down, keeping the nosewheel high
until the last moment.
Fire engines and emergency crews pursued the plane along the runway, but they were
The elephant, enclosed in a crate and fed peanuts during the flight from Tahiti, was
unperturbed by the drama of the landing.
Known as Zona when at St Paul’s Como Zoo, she has been renamed Kashin.
Auckland Zoo staff members say she is frisky and friendly and longing for her month
long quarantine period to end so she can entertain her public.
Toledo Blade (USA) December 19 1972
Chimo the only surviving polar bear cub (born 1960) bred at
Auckland Zoo dies 25 February 108
Polar Bear ‘Ingrid’ arrives from Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney
Australia (unknown arrival date) Ingrid was born in Detroit
Zoo in 1962 then transferred to Taronga Park Zoo in 1964.109
Bornean orangutan birth of Intan from Indra
Bornean Orangutan birth of Datuk from Dara111 (unknown
Death of polar bear Lisabeth 10 May112
Ingrid the female polar bear passes away on 31 October.
Ingrid was over 30 years old at the time of her death (death
date kindly provided by Tineke Joustra Registrar Auckland
Joachim the last polar bear at Auckland Zoo dies.
This exhibit was phased out by Auckland Zoo.
No further polar bears have been imported or exhibited to
(death date kindly provided by Tineke Joustra Registrar Auckland Zoo)
Burma the elephant escapes her enclosure and gets out into
Western Springs Park.
Escaped elephant halts traffic
Published Date: 23 January 2004
AN ELEPHANT disrupted rush-hour traffic in Auckland today after she broke out of
a zoo by dropping a large log on an electric fence and marching out to munch leaves
and grass at a nearby park.
The animal, called Burma, spent 25 minutes on the loose in Western Springs Park
next to the zoo while police and firefighters closed nearby roads.
The breakout began when the 21-year-old, 2-and-a-half-ton Asian elephant broke the
electric fence’s circuits, Zoo director Glen Holland said. Burma then climbed into a
moat and walked along the zoo fence.
Next, she lifted a large gate from its hinges and walked into the adjacent park.
Holland said passers-by notified the zoo that the elephant was outside her enclosure
and four elephant keepers were at the scene within minutes.
The zoo’s elephant team then walked her back to her enclosure where she was
reunited with the zoo’s other elephant, Kashin.
23 January 2004
Set back for Auckland Zoo after they refused to take a
young elephant named ‘Tukta’ who was in quarantine in
Thailand. The elephant was intended for a future breeding
programme. However Tukta had developed aggression
problems and it was feared she would not get along with
Kashin and Burma the Zoo’s resident elephants. Tukta was
returned to her owner. Auckland Zoo received criticism
because of their decision.
Anti-social elephant costs zoo $100,000, delays
By NZPA and Anne Beston
5:00 AM Wednesday Jun 1, 2005
Refusing an anti-social elephant has cost Auckland Zoo $100,000 and delayed its
breeding programme by years, director Glen Holland says.
The zoo has attracted strong criticism of its proposed elephant breeding programme
after a captive elephant being quarantined in Thailand for transfer to Auckland
became violent and had to be sent back to its owner.
Tukta was one of nine elephants destined for Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney's
Taronga zoos which want to breed elephants for zoos.
Mr Holland said Tukta had gone back to its owner after displaying "anti-social
behaviour". She did not get along with the other elephants and was physically
aggressive with staff.
The zoo decided two weeks ago not to take Tukta, fearing the young female would
not get along with zoo residents Kashin, 36, and 23-year-old Burma.
"Once you get an elephant, you have it for life," Mr Holland said.
"We have to make sure animals that come in fit into our programme."
The plan had been to breed Tukta in the future but that was now on hold.
But International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) spokeswoman Rebecca Brand
said the zoo shouldn't be breeding elephants at all.
"We're not trying to shut zoos down," she told National Radio yesterday.
"What we are opposed to is, elephants in zoos. For this proposed conservation captive
breeding programme we have very strong animal welfare concerns for elephants in a
Ms Brand said research showed elephants suffered in captivity despite zoos' best
She said zoos used elephants as "flagship" animals and drawcards.
Ms Brand has previously said the owner of the Ayudhya Elephant Kraal, where the
elephants originated, had reported 25 births in five years.
"With such a successful breeding programme in Thailand, there seems very little
reason to import elephants to Australasian zoos for a conservation captive breeding
programme," she said.
By NZPA and Anne Beston
Sourced New Zealand Herald Website
Bornean Orang-utans Horst, Indra and their offspring Intan
(aged 20 years) transferred to Busch Gardens Zoo, Tampa
Florida USA. Horst and Indra had been at Auckland Zoo for
25 years. Intan was born at Auckland Zoo in 1989.
Three orangutans from Auckland Zoo will head to the United States in a bid to help
breed more of their kind.
Bornean orangutans Indra and Horst have been at the zoo for 25 years - during which
time 20-year-old Intan was born.
They will leave on July 27, to be relocated to the Busch Gardens Zoo in Tampa Bay,
Florida, as part of a captive breeding programme.
Sourced NZ Herald Wednesday Jul 8 2009
Article by Vaimoana Tapaleao
Kashin the elephant dies at Auckland Zoo.
Kashin was euthanized after she had lost the battle from the
suffering of years of chronic arthritis and foot abscesses. The Zoo
was closed for the following day to mourn her loss. Kashin had
arrived in 1972 aged four years – she was around 40 years old at
the time of her death.
A proposal by Auckland Zoological Gardens to expand the
existing elephant facilities to six times its size at a cost of
NZ$13 million, is approved by the Arts, Culture & Recreation
Committee of Auckland City Council. The proposed extension
included housing for a separate enclosure for a breeding
bull elephant, as well as facilities for a breeding herd. The
plan was met with criticism by Save Animals from
Experimentation and some members of the Auckland City
A $13 million extension to Auckland Zoo could make it home for the only elephant
herd in Australia and New Zealand.
Auckland City Council's arts, culture and recreation committee has approved a
proposal to enlarge the zoo's existing enclosure to six times its size, taking in two
areas of Auckland's Western Springs Park.
The proposed areas, which are next to the zoo's present elephant enclosure, will
include an exercise area, a new elephant bull house, a public viewing area and a
The extra space could accommodate a herd of up to 10 new elephants, and the zoo is
in talks with a zoo in Asia about obtaining more of the animals.
The zoo wants to expand to improve the wellbeing of its sole remaining elephant,
Burma, whose companion Kashin died in August 2009.
Councillor Greg Moyle, who chairs the arts, culture and recreation committee, said it
would not happen overnight. "I'd hope the process would be well under way by this
time next year."
But animal rights groups and some city councillors have expressed concerns.
Safe spokesman Hans Kriek said zoos were moving away from keeping elephants in
enclosures, because it was not in the animal's best interests.
Mr Moyle said organisations such as Safe had already indicated they would take the
expansion plan to the Environment Court.
"But they're not being realistic," he said. "An elephant breeding herd will be
established which will become more sustainable and part of a worldwide conservation
project to protect the Asian elephants."
Zebra mare Iti’ka gives birth to a healthy 36 kg foal during a
The recent severe weather may have played a part in the birth of a zebra at Auckland
The 36kg baby was born in the early hours of Tuesday morning amid heavy rain and
Stormy weather in the wild was the perfect time for zebra to give birth as it helped
disguise the smell of birth from predators, Auckland Zoo pridelands team leader Nat
"Mum is doing exactly as she should - being very protective of her newborn.
"It's incredible to witness just how quickly and strongly they bond, and impressive to
see how lively this foal is. We think this stormy weather might have played a part."
Auckland Zoo now has four zebras and is expecting two new zebra fillies from
Hamilton Zoo next week.
Both mum, Itika, and foal have undergone vet checks and are healthy.
The foal is yet to be named.
Death of 50 year old hippopotamus ‘Snorkel’
Snorkel was euthanized by Auckland Zoo veterinary staff
after her health had declined dramatically over the course of
One of Auckland Zoo's oldest residents, Snorkel the hippopotamus, has died.
The 50-year-old female was euthanised last night as her health has declined
dramatically over the past three years.
Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken said the decision to euthanise Snorkel was
"very carefully considered" and made in consultation with the zoo's vet and keeping
"While a tough call - especially for an animal such as Snorkel, who was born here,
and has been so much part of the Zoo family - euthanasia was the only humane
Mr Wilcken said given the average life span of a hippo in a zoo is 40 to 45 years,
Snorkel has had a great innings.
"Snorkel is an animal who has loved the social interaction of her keepers and
delighted many visitors who have met her up close on our Zoom [behind the scenes]
She will be greatly missed by everyone here and we're sure by those zoo visitors who
got to know her well over the years."
NZ Herald staff
- Sourced NZ Herald 1 October 2010
Janie the 57 year old former tea party chimpanzee gets
medication for her asthma
Janie, Auckland Zoo's oldest resident and one of the world's oldest chimps in
captivity, may soon be sniffing through a modified inhaler to treat her worsening
The 57-year-old chimp has been taking oral medication with her food daily for years
but her asthma has been getting worse.
Zoo senior vet John Potter said they were looking at a better way of getting the
asthma drugs directly into her lungs.
She did not like the hissing noise an inhaler made and they were now developing a
version where the gas was in a plastic chamber and Janie breathed it through a metal
"Everything is looking quite encouraging."
He said she may never use an inhaler directly but if she could be trained to suck the
gas through a pipe, it would have the same effect.
Dr Potter said they were also encouraging Janie to lean against the bars of her cage so
they could listen to her lungs through a stethoscope.
He said that despite her age and ill health, Janie was still very strong and her keepers
did not go into her cage because of the potential risk to their safety.
Dr Potter said that Janie lived alone in her cage because she had been conditioned to
human companionship from tea parties when she was young and efforts to reintroduce her back into the company of other chimps failed.
"We just don't take that risk with her. They are tremendously strong, even though she
is an old lady now."
Dr Potter said Janie still enjoyed her food and zoo staff were doing their best to make
her life comfortable.
"She has got television, she has got radio, she has toys so she doesn't live a bad sort
- Sourced NZ Herald 8 December 2010
Burma the Elephant aged 28 gets Cherry the horse (Mare
aged 11 years) as a companion after Kashin’s death
Auckland Zoo's sole elephant Burma has been given a new friend - a horse - amid
concerns for her psychological health since the death of her companion Kashin.
Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken said the introduction of Cherry the horse to the
elephant enclosure was like adding another member to the elephant's family - her
Zoo staff feared for Burma's wellbeing when Kashin was put down in August 2009
because of poor health.
Elephants are highly social and should not be left alone for long.
Sourced NZ Herald 22 March 2011
- Story by Wayne Thompson
Sally the Chimpanzee aged 38 has a reunion with her human
‘mum’ at the Hamilton Zoo. Sally was born at Auckland Zoo
in the 1970’s. After being rejected by her mother Sally was
raised by the head keeper and his wife Gorgie Seccombe for
2 years in their home. Sally was returned to the Auckland
Zoo after she become too big and strong to be kept in a
‘Sally goes ape for ‘mum’ after 30 years.
Sally the chimpanzee was so excited yesterday to see her foster mother for the first
time in 30 years that she did a dance.
In the 1970s, Georgie Seccombe had spent two years hand-raising the baby
chimpanzee in her home after Sally's mother rejected her.
Yesterday, at Hamilton Zoo, they saw each other again for the first time since Mrs
Seccombe gave the chimpanzee back more than 30 years ago.
"I was quite excited to see her again," Mrs Seccombe said. "She's lovely, and she
hasn't changed much, with her manner and everything, she's still the same," the 94year-old said.
Despite the decades that had passed, the 38-year-old chimpanzee still knew who she
"She recognised my voice. When I called her, she came to the cage and she knew
who it was," she said.
"She's a lovely little chimp, she really is. It was great seeing her."
Mrs Seccombe's husband was a head zookeeper at Auckland Zoo when she raised
However, after a couple of years the couple had to return her to the zoo because she
became too big and strong to manage in their home.
Sourced NZ Herald 4 April 2011
Article by Amelia Wade
Jelani the giraffe leaves Auckland Zoo for Werribee Open
Range Zoo in Melbourne.115
Jelani the 18 month old giraffe arrives from Auckland Zoo at
Flagship New Zealand native flora and fauna exhibit Te Wao
Nui is opened117
2 year old Female Giraffe Kiraka arrives from Taronga Zoo118
Female Giraffe Nikuru is born on January 16 from Rukiya.
Nikuru was Rukiya’s fourth calf 119
Nikuru the baby giraffe makes her debut in public120
A zoo keeper is swiped by a cheetah after it was startled by
a crackling microphone121
10 year old Kakapo Rakiura is grounded by a mystery
illness. Rakiura was to be released on Little Barrier Island. 122
Auckland Zoo announces it will be breeding endangered
Giant Weta (Wetapunga)123
Auckland Zoo is joining a breeding programme to stop New Zealand's largest weta
from becoming extinct.
The largest of New Zealand's giant weta, the wetapunga, is only found in the wild on
Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
Staff from Auckland Zoo have spent the last week on Little Barrier Island collecting
wetapunga suitable for breeding in captivity.
The weta will be bred and their offspring will be released onto other sanctuary islands
in the Hauraki Gulf as part of the Department of Conservation's Threatened Weta
"A modern zoo is about conserving wildlife in the wild," said Auckland Zoo's New
Zealand fauna curator Ian Fraser
"This programme breeding up rare species like this and releasing them back into the
wild is completely what the zoo's about."
Some of the weta will also go on display at Auckland Zoo, giving visitors a chance to
see one of the world's rarest insects, which can grow to be heavier than a mouse or a
The wetapunga once came close to being completely wiped out, but the eradication of
the kiore or native rat, on islands like Little Barrier in 2002 has seen their numbers
Department of Conservation scientist Dr Chris Green has been monitoring their
population every year since.
"We're comfortable to say that the population has doubled since the rats were taken
off," he said.
It will be at least three years until the offspring of the wetapunga return to island life
but scientists believe this breeding initiative will help keep the famous insect alive.
Lazarus the dominant male of the African Lion exhibit leaves
for Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales Australia. 124
The pride of Auckland Zoo is leaving today.
Lazarus the lion is leaving the zoo after four years for his new home at Taronga
Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales.
"We'll definitely miss Lazarus. He's got such an amazing personality," zookeeper
David Crimp said.
"He's the dominant male around here and he really proves it by strutting around and
showing off like he does."
The 10-year-old is leaving so Ngala can take over as the dominant male and breed
with the female lions.
"It's sad because they both came from Africa when they were really young and they've
been like brothers ever since. In some way, Ngala will be happy to become the
dominant one but in other ways, it's almost like he needs Lazarus to lead him."
Crimp and the 199kg Lazarus will fly out on a Boeing 757 Freighter for DHL
The lion won't be sedated during the trip so his health can be monitored.
"I'll be on the flight with him so I can hopefully be a familiar voice to keep him
calm," Crimp said. "It's been really great working with Lazarus and watching his
personality grow. I'm sure he'll have a great time over there."
Lazarus has fathered two litters at Auckland Zoo.
A healthy Red Panda Cub is born to three year old female Bo who arrived mid 2012 at
Auckland Zoo and 12 year old male Sagar125
Auckland Zoo officially announces the birth of its first Red
Panda cub since 2002. The cub was born on the morning of
24 December 2012126
The birth of a rare Nepalese red panda baby, weighing not much more than a tomato,
has thrilled Auckland Zoo keepers.
The keepers said that the birth of the cub, the first of its kind at the Zoo since 2002, in
the early hours of Christmas Eve was the best present they could have received.
The panda, now four weeks old is the first offspring of three-year-old Bo, who
arrived at Auckland Zoo in mid-2012, and 12-year-old Sagar.
The cub was an "extremely valuable addition to the international breeding
programme for this threatened species", carnivore team leader, Bruce Murdock said.
The cub, whose sex is yet to be determined, weighed just 105 grams at birth and now
weighs about 240 grams.
"We're absolutely stoked. This birth is a fantastic result, especially as Bo was only
introduced to Sagar last August, and given female red pandas come into season just
twice a year and a male has only a one to two-day window to mate a female,"
He said Bo was doing an "an exceptional job, staying in the nest box for long periods
and feeding her cub up to six times a day, and being very attentive".
Red pandas develop slowly and are dependent for at least three months, so keepers
expect it could be another eight to 10 weeks before visitors see the cub venturing out
of its nest box.
"We're keeping a regular watch on this cub, but taking a very hands-off approach so
Bo can continue to do the great job she's doing, and we minimise any potential stress
for her. Around late February will be a safe time for us to do a full vet check on the
cub. We're not absolutely sure, but bets are on that we have a female," Murdock
As part of an international breeding programme Auckland Zoo sent female Khosuva
to India's Darjeeling Zoo in 2010, where she was paired up with a male as part of
Project Red Panda.
The plan was for Khosuva's offspring to be released into the wild in Nepal. In return,
Sagar arrived at Auckland Zoo in 2010 from Darjeeling to breed.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Archey’s Frogs breed successfully at Auckland Zoo. Seven
Froglets are successfully hatched and maintained by
Auckland Zoo staff.127
Zookeepers at Auckland Zoo are claiming a massive and internationally important
victory after a critically endangered Archey's frog successfully bred from a long-term
Seven Archey's frog babies that hatched at the zoo in December from fertile eggs laid
in October, are continuing to thrive, keepers said. Auckland Zoo is the only facility in
the world to hold the frogs.
While Archey's frogs have been bred twice before elsewhere in captivity, the babies
did not survive.
"It's a massive step forward to finally breed these enigmatic and extremely sensitive
little frogs after almost eight years," Auckland Zoo NZ Fauna curator, Richard
International experts agreed the breeding of Archey's frogs is a huge achievement.
Kevin Zippel, programme director of the Amphibian Ark - a world body focused on
the global survival of amphibians - said: "Conserving any species usually requires a
whole range of actions and captive breeding is increasingly a requirement for many
threatened amphibians. Auckland Zoo's recent success with Archey's frog is exciting
news and represents an important breakthrough".
Professor Jonathan Baillie from the Zoological Society of London said "breeding one
of the most primitive and threatened species on the planet is an amazing achievement
and a major breakthrough for conservation".
Archey's frogs, like New Zealand's other three endemic frog species, don't have a
tadpole stage that other members of the species have. Instead, the Archey's tadpole
grows limbs inside the egg, and then hatches out as an almost fully formed frog.
The seven baby frogs, each just a half a centimetre long, have absorbed their yolk
sacs and progressed to a diet of tiny invertebrates, keepers said.
While not currently on display, visitors to Auckland Zoo will soon be able to see
adult Archey's frogs in the zoo's night forest habitat within its New Zealand precinct,
Te Wao Nui.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Compiled and Researched by Liz Clark 2010 – 2012
Grateful acknowledgement goes to Lisa Truttman
for her assistance with this project.
Also to Tineke Joustra at Auckland Zoological
Auckland Council Archives Staff
Reference Sources and notations
Wanganui Chronicle 27 February 1911
Wanganui Chronicle 29 March 1911
Auckland Star 7 April 1911
Auckland Star 20 April 1911
Auckland Star 12 May 1911
Auckland Star 19 May 1911
Wanganui Chronicle 23 May 1911
Auckland Star 30 May 1911
Auckland Star 20 July 1911
Auckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 210, 4 September 1911, Page 6
Page 1, Advertisements Column 4, Auckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 262, 3 November 1911
Page 1, Advertisements Column 4, Auckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 268, 10 November 1911
Page 1 Advertisements Column 4, Auckland Star, Volume XLII, Issue 304, 22 December 1911, Page 1
Auckland Star, Vol. XLIII, Issue 261, 31 October 1912, Page 2
Evening Post 13 April 1922
Auckland Star 9 May 1922 pg 6 Advertisements
Auckland Star 16 June 1922
ONEHUNGA ZOO, Auckland Star, Vol. LIII, Issue 150, 27 June 1922, Page 3
THE ZOO, Auckland Star, Vol. LIII, Issue 165, 14 July 1922, Page 7
Hawera and Normanby Star 27 July 1922
*It should be noted that Boyd was instrumental in establishing the basis of zoological collections in New Zealand and also
in Australia. He supplied many zoos with animals. Boyd had also imported animals from Carl Hagenbeck’s Hamburg Zoo.
Boyd has been dismissed as only having a small menagerie. This is not the case. Boyd during the height of the Royal Oak
Zoo had over 2000 animals and birds in his zoological collection. His role in New Zealand Zoological History is significant.
There have also been errors made in the assumption that the Royal Oak Zoo was sited on the grounds of the Royal Oak
Intermediate School. This is incorrect. The site of the original zoo was researched through land titles and deeds indexes by
Lisa Truttman for her book “The Zoo War” (self published 2008). The records showed that the land where the houses are
now situated was the site of the original Zoo. Auckland City Council’s own publication “A Tiger by the Tail: The History of
Auckland Zoo 1922-1992” also gives credence to Boyd having a Zoo rather than a small menagerie. The term ‘Zoo’ is
referred to through out the chapters on Boyd.
Parks Committee minutes, Auckland City Council, “Joseph Hurley” 27 July 1922
Parks Committee Minutes, Auckland City Council, “Progress Report City Zoological Gardens”, 1 August 1922
Parks Committee Minutes, Auckland City Council, “Purchase and Accommodation of animals for Zoological Gardens”, 1
Auckland Star 9 August 1922
Auckland Star 11 August 1922
“The Zoo War” (2008) by Lisa Truttman J. J. Boyd’s Royal Oak Zoo pg
Parks Committee Minutes, 22 August 1922, Page 169, Auckland Council Archives
Auckland Star 24 August 1922
*This Kiwi was offered in August 1922 by a Mr Dryden of Otangiwai (ref: A Tiger by the Tail – The History of Auckland
Zoo 1922-1992 Wood. Derek p. 18)
Auckland Star 20 October 1922
Auckland Star 10 November 1922
Auckland Star 17 November 1922
Auckland Star 2 December 1922
Evening Post 4 December 1922
Auckland Star 16 December 1922
Auckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 2, 3 January 1923, Page 5
Auckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 11, 13 January 1923, Page 4
*A Tiger by the Tail – The History of Auckland Zoo 1922 – 1922 incorrectly asserted that the site of the old Royal Oak Zoo
was the current site of the Royal Oak Intermediate School.
Auckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 22, 26 January 1923, Page 7
Hawera & Normanby Star 7 February 1923
Evening Post 13 February 1923
“CITY WORKS” Auckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 40, 16 February 1923, Page 3
Auckland Star, Volume LIV, Issue 46, 23 February 1923, Page 4
Evening Post 26 February 1923
Evening Post 27 February 1923
Auckland Star 15 March 1923
Evening Post 28 June 1923
Evening Post 28 July 1923
Evening Post 30 July 1923
Evening Post 23 August 1923
Auckland Star 24 August 1923
Parks Committee Minutes, Auckland City Council, “Undersecretary Dept. Of Internal Affairs”, 27 August 1923, Auckland
*(none of the dogs that Sir Ernest Shackleton took with him on his expedition on the Endurance survived. These dogs
were shot and eaten after the Endurance was broken up by ice.)
The dog was removed from the zoo and cared for by the Zoo caretaker Mr Hurley.
This particular dog was not one of the Ross Sea Party Dogs, but a pup most likely born on the Aurora in 1916/17 or one
born on a later expedition
J.J. Boyd had listed in his letter to the Auckland City Council “1 Esquimaux dog and one wolf dog (female) He had stated
that these dogs were the property of the New Zealand Government. Indications in Tiger by the Tail show that the dogs were
transferred to the Auckland Zoo. However no further mention is made of them.
The dog in this article was possibly one of the many puppies born to the Ross Sea Party Dogs on board the Aurora. 18 adult
dogs made it to the Ross Sea, however only 5 dogs returned alive including a litter of 8 puppies that were born on board the
Aurora. All of the adult dogs that made the return journey were housed in Wellington Zoo. Six of the eight puppies were
sold at auction by Shackleton in order to recoup some of the costs for the rescue mission to Cape Evans. Shackleton did
make a further expedition in
It is possible that the dogs mentioned by J.J. Boyd were from the puppies born on the Aurora in 1916/17. Two puppies were
Bella was bred at Melbourne Zoological Gardens from the female Hippopotamus ‘Rosamund’ the male that sired her was
named ‘William’. Bella was Rosamund’s 3rd calf .
Sourced Worker 10 July 1924
She was born on 23 February 1921 at the Melbourne Zoo.
“A baby hippopotamus was born at the Melbourne Zoological Gardens on Wcdnesday The baby a female seems
sturdy and well, and spends most of its time under water.”
Sourced: The Argus 25 February 1921
The Mercury 28 March 1924
Auckland Star, Volume LV, Issue 78, 1 April 1924, Page 5
Auckland Star 5 August 1924
Auckland , Volume LV, Issue 252, 23 October 1924, Page 9
Evening Post 18 September 1924
Auckland Star 13 January 1925
Auckland Star 15 January 1925
Auckland Star 25 January 1926
Evening Post 10 February 1925
Evening Post 13 February 1925
Evening Post 22 August 1925
Auckland Star 3 May 1926
Auckland Star 14 May 1926
Auckland Star, Volume LVII, Issue 150, 26 June 1926, Page 22
Auckland Star 23 July 1926
Auckland Star 22 September 1926
Auckland Star, Volume LVII, Issue 274, 18 November 1926, Page 16
Auckland Star 31st December 1926
Auckland Star, Volume LVIII, Issue 208, 3 September 1927, Page 11
Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 87, 12 April 1930, Page 7
‘Jumbo’ by the end of 1931 was renamed ‘Rajah’ he was obtained by the Beaumaris (Hobart) Zoo in 1925 from animal
dealer G. B. Chapman. The elephant had been used in the 1924 British Empire Exhibition as part of a group of 15 elephants
being kept in the Burma Pavilion area. It was claimed in A Tiger by the Tail – the History of Auckland Zoo 1922-1992
(Derek Wood) that Curator Roach had stated that the difficult behaviour the elephant had was caused by a visitor at the
Beaumaris Zoo put a lighted cigarette on his trunk. To date no reports in the Hobart papers of the period can be located to
substantiate this claim. Male elephants in captivity can come into early musth condition and this is more likely the cause of
Rajah’s difficult behaviour.
Auckland Star, Vol. LXVI, Issue 291, 9 December 1935, Page 5
Auckland Star, Vol. LXXI, Issue 43, 20 February 1940, Page 8
Auckland Star 30 September 1940
Auckland Star 26 June 1942
The Mail 14 August 1943
Auckland Star, Volume LXXV, Issue 254, 26 October 1944, Page 6
A Tiger by the Tail P. 73
A Tiger by the Tail P. 72
A Tiger by the Tail P. 80
A Tiger by the Tail p.80
Parks & Library Committee Minutes, Auckland City Council, 13 June 1960, Zoological Park Section Report “Polar Bear
Cub” 9 June 1960
A Tiger by the Tail p.120
Parks & Library Committee Minutes, Auckland City Council, 11 July 1960, page 1, Zoological Park Section, “Death of
Kangaroo”, 6 July 1960
Parks & Library Committee minutes, Auckland City Council, 5 September 1960, page 1, Zoological Park Section,
“Zoological Park Superintendent”, 30 August 1960
Parks & Library Committee minutes, Auckland City Council, 5 September 1960, Zoological Park Section, Item 9
“Giraffe”, 26 August 1960
Parks & Library Committee minutes, Auckland City Council, 5 September 1960, page 1, Zoological Park Section, “Theft
of takings”, 29 August 1960
Parks & Library Committee minutes, Auckland City Council, 10 July 1961, page 1, Zoological Park Section, “Death of
Eland”, 5 July 1961
Parks & Library Committee minutes, 4 September 1961, page 1, Zoo Section, “Gift Elephant”, Item 1, 15 August 1961
Parks & Library Committee minutes, 4 September 1961, page 1, Zoo Section, “Personal”, Item 2, 30 August 1961
A Tiger by the Tail P. 121
Parks & Library Committee minutes, 18 February 1963, page 1, Zoological Section, “Death of Polar Bear”, Item 1, 21
A Tiger by the Tail p. 86
A Tiger by the Tail P. 121
A Tiger by The Tail p.87
A Tiger by the Tail p.87
A Tiger by the Tail p.124
A Tiger by the Tail p.89
A Tiger by the Tail p.92
The Edmonton Journal, 19 March 1965, page 51
A Tiger by the Tail p. 89
A Tiger by the Tail p.93
A Tiger by the Tail p.95
A Tiger by the Tail p.137
Auckland Zoological Gardens Registrar
A Tiger by the Tail p.120
A Tiger by the Tail p.132
A Tiger by the Tail p.132
Auckland Zoological Gardens Registrar
NZ Herald , “Herd of elephants planned for expanded Zoo”, NZPA, 12 August 2010
NZ Herald , “Zebra born in Auckland storm”, NZPA, 23 September 2010
stuff.co.nz 5 September 2011
stuff.co.nz 13 September 2011
NZ Herald 7 September 2011
NZ Herald 4 December 2011
NZ Herald 18 January 2012
NZ Herald 15 March 2012
stuff.co.nz 17 April 2012
stuff.co.nz 18 April 2012
One News 22 May 2012
“Mighty Lazarus leaves zoo - Keepers farewell the 'amazing' alpha male” by Hinerangi Vaimoso Stuff.co.nz 12
“Red Panda born at Auckland Zoo” , Fairfax NZ News 21 January 2013
“Red Panda born at Auckland Zoo”, Fairfax NZ News, Stuff.co.nz, 21 January 2013
“Archey’s Frogs Breed at Auckland Zoo”, Fairfax NZ News, Stuff.co.nz, 27 February 2013.
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