Written in 1973/74 just after the author’s Ashover Zoological Garden had closed down, and finally published, with the addition of an Epilogue bringing his story up to date, over a decade later, this book provides a full and frank account of the events leading up to the foundation of the place, its progress during the seventeen years that it was in existence, and its sudden and ignominious demise. With a sketch of the layout.
1960. KEELING, JILL. Ask of the Beasts. Anthony Blond, London. Hb. 203 pp.
The story of the Ashover Zoological Garden in Derbyshire. It was designed specifically as a teaching medium by Jill and Clinton Keeling, long before zoos had any obligation to do anything at all to educate or inform their visitors. The aim was to get people interested in nature by showing living creatures at close range. Jill Keeling obviously felt her book, too, should be a handy reference tool because she decided to include an extensive forty page glossary of 'a few of the more noteworthy facts' about each of the species, from Afghan hound to woodpecker, she had mentioned in the text. B/w photos.
BELLEVUE ZOO, BELFAST
Circa 1995. McFETRIDGE, STEWART. Bellevue: Belfast's Mountain Playground. Pb. 132 pp. + 24 pp. of photos
Labours under the sub-subtitle Things You Didn't Know or Had Forgotten. Although not wholly, or even mainly, concerned with what was formerly known as the Bellevue Zoo and is now the City of Belfast Zoological Garden, this slender publication does provide some fascinating insights into the origins and early development of the zoo.
BELLE VUE ZOO, MANCHESTER
1988. BARNABY, DAVID. The Elephant Who Walked to Manchester. Basset Publications, Plymouth. Pb. 66 pp.
One of the most lauded animals at Belle Vue in the latter years of the nineteenth century was Maharajah, a bull Asian elephant. He was bought at auction in Edinburgh in 1872. The tale of his extraordinary journey on foot from Scotland to Manchester, accompanied only by his handler, is told in this delightful book.
1989. BENNETT, CLIVE and BARNABY, DAVID. The Reptiles of Belle Vue 1950–1977. Zoological Society of Greater Manchester Publications, Sale.
Belle Vue Zoo built up one of the finest collections of reptiles in a British zoo and included amongst it were some unusual or rarely exhibited species. This book celebrates this incredible collection, which was disbanded when the zoo closed down in 1977. Clive Bennett was the Curator of Reptiles and so wrote from his own personal experience.
1960. ILES, GERALD. At Home in the Zoo. W.H. Allen, London. Hb. 244 pp.
The Belle Vue Zoological Garden (now defunct) was everyone's archetypal idea of a traditional zoo. Old-fashioned though it may have been in some respects, there is little doubt it inspired many people, having visited it as children, to become zoo-keepers, zoo-directors or zoo-vets when they grew up. This is a personal account written by a man who, as its much-respected Director for twenty-five years, knew it better than anybody else. The last chapter is a thought-provoking, spirited defence of zoos in general. Preface by Michaela Denis. Belle Vue Zoo closed down in 1977 after 141 years.
1983. KEELING, C.H. The Life and Death of Belle Vue. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 74 pp.
Belle Vue Zoo meant a lot to Clinton Keeling, its closure a devastating blow. The Life and Death of Belle Vue was republished in a revised edition in 1987. He then went on to write several other books detailing the changing fortunes of Belle Vue, all of them published by Clam Publications.
A companion volume to the author's 1983 book on Belle Vue and a more pictorial volume. When that earlier book was published, suddenly the author was contacted by other people who remembered Belle Vue with fondness and were pleased to share with him old postcards and other photos and yellowing newspaper cuttings, and talk about some of their own memories of this place that meant so much to so many people, and it wasn't long before the author realised he had enough material to warrant a second volume.
1989. NICHOLLS, ROBERT. Looking Back at Belle Vue Manchester. Willow Publishing. Pb. 76 pp.
Part of a series of at least twenty books looking at different aspects of Manchester and the surrounding area in years long passed (others are ‘Old Manchester Illustrated’, ‘A Trafford Childhood’ and ‘The Lost Rivers of Manchester’). Well illustrated with black-and-white photographs.
1992. NICHOLLS, ROBERT. The Belle Vue Story. Neil Richardson (Publisher). Pb. 83 pp.
This slim publication wastes no space. The introduction begins on the inside front cover (where it jostles for space with the contents listing and the customary dedication) and the plan of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens appears on the back cover. Illustrated with many black-and-white photographs, the book takes the reader through each era in the zoo’s long and illustrious history, step by step, from its beginnings in 1836 to its closure in 1977 and the development of the site post-zoo. A curious book, not as well produced as the same author’s ‘Looking Back at Belle Vue Manchester’, published only three years earlier, but similar in format; much of the text is identical, and much of what is not identical is paraphrased from the previous book.
1966. TOTTENHAM, KATHARINE. Wild Company. Hodder & Stoughton, London. Hb. 128 pp.
In fact I've cheated a bit here. Wild Company is not actually about Bideford Zoo, but about the precursor to Bideford. Katharine Tottenham called her menagerie 'A zoo with a difference', though it is hard to imagine what the difference might have been, as her animals were housed and maintained in exactly the same conditions as those in most other zoos. The only difference one can see is her refusal to allow vulgar commercial activities, such as donkey rides or performing animals. She really did seem to know her stuff. By the time she came to write this book, her small zoo in Wiltshire had outgrown itself and plans were already afoot to move to larger premises in North Devon. Here she was shortly to open the Bideford Zoo. Sadly the new venture, launched with great enthusiasm, professionalism and high hopes on 29 May 1966, lasted just over four years, expiring on October 17, 1970. B/w photos.
1976. HILL, LEN and WOOD, EMMA. Penguin Millionaire: The Story of Birdland. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, Devon. Hb. 144 pp.
The original Birdland (since Len Hill's death it has moved location) was a delight and visited by some 700,000 people annually, which is nothing short of amazing when one considers that birds were the only attraction. A book to inspire anyone with an interest in birds – and the financial wherewithal – to create their own bird garden. Foreword by Johnny Morris. Introduction by Sir Peter Scott. Numerous colour and b/w photos.
2013. Mersey, Joe. Bognor's Zoo: A Short History of the Animal Collection in Hotham Park. Lulu Press. Pb. 55 pp.
Books about major historic zoos are quite common; books about small, relatively obscure menageries are not - which makes this book a welcome and important addition to the zoological literature. The animal collection in Hotham Park (known at various times as Hotham Park Pets' Corner/Hotham Park Zoo/Zootopia/Rainbow's End Family Adventure Centre) may be relegated to history, but, thanks to Mr Mersey, its story, entertainingly told with the help of newspaper archives and first-hand accounts, is now preserved for posterity. This fascinating, and sometimes controversial, story of a much-loved attraction is illustrated with many colour and black-and-white photos, some published here for the first time.
BRISTOL ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
An attractive and lavishly illustrated book commissioned by the Bristol and West of England Zoological Society to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th anniversary in 2011. Foreword by John Cleese.
1964. GREEN-ARMYTAGE, A.H.N. The Story of Bristol Zoo. Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. Pb. 115 pp.
A slender but well-written account of the history of Bristol Zoo which usefully provides a complete list of all the Superintendents and Hon. Treasurers from the very beginning up until the 1960s, a list of the first members, and the number of shares each one bought in the newly floated venture, as well as a list of staff honoured with an award for thirty years' service. But no index. 15 illustrations.
An in-depth look at the early history of the Bristol Zoo based on a detailed study of its guide books from 1843 (the earliest surviving guide) to 1964. The author made the conscious decision to gloss over more recent editions, arguing that there are still a lot of these in circulation and they can often be purchased quite easily and cheaply from such sources as e-Bay, in contrast to the rarer earlier guides.
1985. WARIN, ROBERT and WARIN, ANN. Portrait of a Zoo. Redcliffe Press Ltd., Bristol. Hb & Pb. 111 pp.
Published to commemorate 150 years of the Bristol Zoo. The authors had obviously pored over and subconsciously absorbed the earlier Green-Armytage work, and it shows in their own phraseology. The first three chapters are devoted to the history of the zoo, with other chapters discussing the Bristol Zoo of the 1980s, its animal collection, breeding and veterinary records, research programme, gardens, and administration. The work is marred by a number of careless factual errors which should have been eliminated at the proof-reading stage. Like its 1964 predecessor, it too suffers from the lack of an index. Foreword by Gerald Durrell.
1996. KEELING, C.H. The Chessington Story. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 77 pp.
The first book devoted solely to the Chessington Zoo before it acquired theme-park status and metamorphosed into Chessington World of Adventure, which is surprising considering that it has always been popular with day-trippers and has a most interesting history, well worth telling.
2005. KEELING, C.H. Chessington Notebook. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 113 pp.
A fascinating potpourri of miscellaneous facts. It is obvious the author derived a great deal of enjoyment from pouring over, and dissecting, some of Chessington's surviving notebooks.
1969. JOHNS, JUNE. Zoo Without Bars: The Story of Chester Zoo. Victor Gollancz, London. Hb. 157 pp.
June Johns knew Chester Zoo and its founder, George Mottershead, very well, which makes her occasional departures from the literal truth even more inexplicable. She dwells on the surprisingly large number of animal escapes, sometimes of potentially very dangerous animals, that afflicted Chester Zoo in its earliest days. B/w photos.
1970. JOHNS, JUNE. The Mating Game: Sex, Love & Courtship in the Zoo. Peter Davies Ltd., London. Hb. 157 pp.
More specifically, sex, love and courtship at Chester Zoo. Illustrated with black-and-white photos by Jack Smith. A paperback edition was published in 1972 by Pan Books (171 pp.).
2013. S.C. KERSHAW. The Story of Colchester Zoo. The History Press, Gloucestershire, England. Pb. 288 pp.
See Ilfracombe Zoo Park.
COTSWOLD WILDLIFE PARK
1976. SPENCE, PETER. Some of Our Best Friends are Animals. Sidgwick & Jackson, London. Hb. 156 pp.
The story of how an historic house and the extensive rolling pastures surrounding it, became the Cricket St. Thomas Wildlife Park. The author, Peter Spence, had more than a passing interest in the wildlife park: in 1973 he married the daughter of the park's manager. The original hardback edition contains b/w photographs (together with cartoons by Bruno Cassiers). When it was published in paperback by Pan, the illustrations were removed to the detriment of the book.
THE DEEP, HULL
2002. PEARMAN, HUGH. The Deep: The World’s Only Submarium – An Icon for Hull. Wordsearch (Publishers), London. Pb. 96 pp.
I’ve been to Hull and taken a look round The Deep, an impressive a public aquarium as I’ve ever seen. I liked it. But I still don’t understand what ‘Submarium’ means! Be that as it may, a whole book about the building of an aquarium, even one as grand as this, is extremely unusual. With a foreword by the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott (Kingston-upon-Hull was his constituency), the book takes an in-depth (sorry) look at the whole process of providing Hull with this most iconic of structures (anyone who has seen it from across the river will know what I mean) from concept and design to execution.
2009. DE COURCY, CATHERINE. Dublin Zoo: An Illustrated History. The Collins Press, Cork. Pb. 356 pp.
Strangely for a zoo that opened as long ago as 1831 (making it older than Bristol Zoo by five years and only three years younger than the London Zoo), this is the first comprehensive history of Dublin Zoo. It is unlikely there will be another one anytime soon because the author has done her job so well it is hard to envisage how any future book about Dublin Zoo could surpass it. Catherine de Courcy shows herself to be not only a meticulous researcher but a gifted writer, able to turn the dry facts preserved in the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland’s minutes books and other documents into eminently readable prose, a tour de force that shows the importance of all zoos maintaining a comprehensive archive. Zoo directors take note.
DUDLEY ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN
1960. RISDON, D.H.S. The Zoo Keeper. The Educational Supply Association, Ltd., London. Hb. 106 pp.
The author, Donald Risdon, wrote this book (part of a series of information books on people's jobs) when he was General Manager of Dudley Zoo (he left soon afterwards to start the marvellous - but sadly now defunct - Tropical Bird Gardens at Rode near Bath). The book tells how zoos of that period (but with emphasis on Dudley Zoo) obtained the animals, how they were housed, fed and cared for, how the babies were reared, and how sick animals were treated, and the importance of providing a warm reception for visitors. It described also the daily round of the zoo-keeper's work. In addition, Mr Risdon described several of the animal characters in his care. There is a simplified plan of the zoo and numerous black & white photos. The book was obviously quite popular because a second edition was published in 1961.
1989. KEELING, C.H. They Live at the Castle: The Story of the Dudley Zoological Garden. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 60 pp.
The first time the full story of this major West Midlands collection has been told.
Date? GILLESPIE, T.H. Zoo Ways and Whys. Herbert Jenkins Ltd., London.
1931. GILLESPIE, T.H. More Zoo Ways. Herbert Jenkins Ltd., London.
Thomas Gillespie was the founder and inspirational first director of Edinburgh Zoo, a zoo which he ran for almost forty years from 1913–1950. He made a name for himself as the BBC Scottish Zoo Man, and in these two volumes, aimed primarily at a youngish readership, he successfully combined a mix of serious natural history and delightful anecdote.
1964. GILLESPIE, T.H. The Story of the Edinburgh Zoo: The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and The Scottish National Zoological Park, An Account of their Origin and Progress. Michael Slains Publishers Ltd, Aberdeenshire. Hb. 123 pp.
A very readable, factual and extremely interesting account written by the man who knew more about Edinburgh Zoo than anyone else, since it was he who founded it. Illustrated with numerous drawings and only five photographs, of which two photos, perhaps unsurprisingly, show the zoo’s most famous residents, the penguins.
2006. LLOYD, JOHN. Wonders Never Cease: Edinburgh Zoo into the 21st Century. The ABR Company Ltd., Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. Pb. 160 pp.
With a Foreword by Miranda Stevenson, this is the story of one of Scotland’s most visited tourist attractions. Although the history of Edinburgh Zoo is covered, this is not the book’s main concern. There are only three sepia-toned historic photographs and founder Gillespie’s name crops up on just two pages. Instead, the book is a celebration of the modern Edinburgh Zoo, lavishly illustrated on every page with stunning colour images taken by Alan R. Thomson, senior designer and photographer at the zoo. The purpose is to show both Edinburgh Zoo and its sister park, the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie, as exciting and vibrant centres for animal conservation and public recreation confidently striding into the new millennium. The last chapter, ‘Looking to the Future’, is Edinburgh Zoo’s declaration of intent – how it sees itself developing in the years ahead.
FLAMINGO PARK/FLAMINGO LAND
HICK, FRANCIS. Zoo Lady: The Founding of Flamingo Park.
GWEEK/CORNISH SEAL SANCTUARY
1978. JONES, KEN. Seal Doctor. Fontana Paperbacks. Pb. 160 pp.
A revised and greatly enlarged version of the author's animal classic Orphans of the Sea, published in 1970. When he wrote that earlier book he had yet to establish the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek in Cornwall, which now receives many thousands of visitors a year. That first book was mainly about rescuing orphaned seals, nursing them back to health and releasing them back into the sea. The updated version concentrates on the work involved in setting up the Seal Sanctuary.
HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK and PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL PARK
1976. ASPINALL, JOHN. The Best of Friends. Macmillan, London. Hb. 159 pp.
This book, illustrated with some incredible photographs of the author interacting with his animals at Howletts, was John Aspinall's Das Kapital, an extended treatise in which he expounded at great length on his ideology and controversial views on keeping animals in captivity and the wider conservation issues. He discusses, amongst other animals, gorillas, tigers, wolves, elephants and rhinoceroses. Like Karl Marx's diatribe, the content is inflammatory stuff. At once polemical and provocative, no one who read it on its publication could have been in any doubt that Aspinall was enthused with an almost messianic passion. Not afraid of courting controversy, his unguarded outspokenness antagonised some readers and undoubtedly lost him supporters. On the other hand, the zoo world needs larger-than-life chatacters like Aspinall and is all the poorer for their passing.
Published shortly after John Aspinall's death in the year 2000, this is a commemoration of "Asper's" life and work, with over fifty short essays contributed by his friends and associates, or simply by those who admired and respected him. Most of the anecdotes have never been published before, some stories are salutary, others very funny indeed. One must read this book to really understand the man.
1988. MASTERS, BRIAN. The Passion of John Aspinall. Jonathan Cape, London. Hb. 360 pp.
A biography of the larger-than-life founder of two of the best zoological parks in the world. John Aspinall was a pioneer and a maverick, and this book examines in detail his triumphs and his disappointments, and the occasional human tragedies that acquired for Aspinall an engaging notoriety that persists to this day. Contains 32 b/w photos.
2005. PEARSON, JOHN. The Gamblers. Century, London. Hb. 225 pp.
Profiles five members of the famous Clermont Club, including its charismatic founder John Aspinall who,of course, went on to establish the famous wild animal parks at Howletts and Port Lympne. The author was obviously influenced by Brian Masters' earlier biography, as either unconsciously or knowingly he repeats some of the stories about J. Aspinall, Esq. The zoo at Port Lympne is mentioned only once but he writes at some length about Howletts.
ILFRACOMBE ZOO PARK
TREVISICK, CHARLES. My Home is a Zoo. Stanley Paul, London. Hb. 176 pp.
Portrays, in a readable, anecdotal style, the everyday life of running a zoo, in this case the now largely forgotten Comyn Hill Zoo (Ilfracombe Zoo Park) in Devon, written by its owner, a man who started out as a dairy farmer but, through his many television appearances, became quite a celebrity in his heyday and a respected authority on animal matters. Numerous b/w photos.
Despite the title, the book, published to mark the zoo’s silver jubilee in 1984, does not dwell for too long on the illustrious history of the Jersey Zoo beyond giving the reader a list of historical highlights year-by-year and a selection of reprints of old newspaper cuttings. Instead, the emphasis is on trumpeting the considerable achievements of the zoo in the late seventies and early eighties.
1999. BOTTING, DOUGLAS. Gerald Durrell: The Authorised Biography. HarperCollins, London. Hb. 644 pp.
Douglas Botting was granted exclusive access to all Durrell's personal and professional archives, including his unpublished writings, and interviews with dozens of people who had known him, and the results of all this diligent and painstaking research show in this masterful, warts-and-all, biography of the founder of Jersey Zoo. There are a few minor errors (most of which were subsequently corrected when a paperback version was published the following year), but in a book as detailed and thorough as this, stretching to 644 pages, it would be remarkable if one or two mistakes had not crept in. Illustrated.
1960. DURRELL, GERALD. A Zoo in My Luggage. Rupert Hart Davis.
The chronicle of a six month trip that Gerald Durrell made to what was then the British Cameroons in Central Africa, to bring back a collection of animals that eventually formed the nucleus of the embryonic Jersey Zoo. Illustrated with line drawings by the acclaimed wildlife artist, Ralph Thompson. First paperback edition was published in Penguin Books in 1964.
1961. DURRELL, GERALD. Island Zoo. Collins, London. Hb.
A children's book describing the first animals to arrive at the Jersey Zoo, written in collaboration with the brilliant photographer, W. Suschitzky.
1961. DURRELL, GERALD. The Whispering Land. Rupert Hart Davis.
A sequel to A Zoo in My Luggage in which Gerald Durrell ventures to the Argentine for eight months to collect a South American contingent of animals for his Jersey Zoo to pad out the animals he had previously brought back from Africa. With 34 line drawings by Ralph Thompson.
1964. DURRELL, GERALD. Menagerie Manor. Rupert Hart Davies.
The first four years of the Jersey Zoo, culminating in the founding of a scientific trust dedicated to the cause of the preservation of wildlife to take over the zoo. Illustrated with line drawings by Ralph Thompson. First paperback edition was published by Penguin Books in 1967.
1972. DURRELL, GERALD. Catch Me a Colobus. Collins, London & Glasgow.
A book that takes up the story of Jersey Zoo from where Menagerie Manor left off, including chapters on expeditions to Sierra Leone and Mexico to acquire yet more endangered species. With line drawings by Edward Mortelmans.
1976. DURRELL, GERALD. The Stationary Ark. Collins, London. Hb. 157 pp.
A look at the role of zoological gardens and, in particular, an impassioned plea by Gerald Durrell for more zoos to follow the lead of his own Jersey Zoo. The book marked a departure from the humorous story-telling of many of his previous books. Some of his fans objected to this uncharacteristic seriousness and this was reflected in relatively disappointing sales. A simplified plan of the zoo, circa mid 1970s, occupies the inside front and back covers, and anyone familiar with the current layout will be amazed at how much it has changed. Drawings by William Oliver. Also b/w photos. Published also in paperback.
1977. DURRELL, GERALD. Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons. Collins, London. Hb. 160 pp.
Jersey Zoo's initial involvement in the conservation of Mascarene Island fauna. Illustrated with line drawings by Edward Mortelmans. Published also in paperback.
By the early 1980s Jersey Zoo was tentatively starting to get involved with in-situ conservation. This book charts its early work in Madagascar and Mauritius, based on the television series of the same name. Numerous colour and b/w photos.
1990. DURRELL, GERALD. The Ark's Anniversary. Collins, London. Hb. 179 pp.
An update on progress being made at Jersey Zoo/Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, as it was, and its involvement in projects in the animals' countries of origin. Suffers slightly from a preponderance of famous people; so many of the stories involve celebrities it can seem like shameless name-dropping. Published also in paperback. 20 b/w photos.
1992. DURRELL, GERALD. The Aye-aye and I: A Rescue Expedition in Madagascar. HarperCollins, London. Hb. 175 pp.
Subtitled 'A rescue expedition to Madagascar', this is an account of a major collecting expedition – Gerald Durrell's last – to Madagascar to bring back to the Jersey Zoo such rarities as aye-aye, Gentle lemurs, Giant jumping rats, and Flat-tailed tortoises. A pity about the ungrammatical title but I suppose even that was an improvement on its original working title of The Magic Finger. Published also in paperback. 19 colour photos.
1967. DURRELL, JACQUIE. Beasts in My Bed. Collins, London. Hb. 192 pp.
The author was Gerald Durrell's first wife. It is possible that, had they never met and then married, the world at large may never have heard of Gerald Durrell, for it was Jacquie who largely goaded her husband into writing, it was Jacquie who suggested that the animals they collected on his third expedition to the Cameroons should be used as the nucleus of his own long-dreamed-of zoo instead of being distributed to other people's zoos, and Jacquie who suggested Jersey as a site for that zoo when negotiations to found one of the British mainlasnd foundered. Fascinating insights into the travails and frustrations of setting up a zoo from scratch. Jacquie Durrell presents an astringent commentary in which she bemoans the loss of privacy, the lack of time for herself, and, above all, the financial worries that caused her many a sleepless night. One of the reviewers at the time wrote that, in spite of this, the book conveyed a pretty fair hint that she enjoyed the way of life as much as her famous husband. I think the available evidence suggests otherwise. Contains a few too many distracting, sometimes deliberatory contradictory, footnotes from Gerald Durrell. Published later in paperback. B/w photos.
1976. DURRELL, JACQUIE. Intimate Relations. Collins, London. Hb. 160 pp.
Jacquie Durrell's second and last book profiles some of her favourite animal characters. Published also in paperback. B/w photos. If you can, obtain the hardback edition (still available from secondhand book dealers), as it contains many more photographs, some of which were removed for the slimmer, paperback version.
1997. HUGHES, DAVID. Himself & Other Animals: A Portrait of Gerald Durrell. Hutchinson, London. Hb. 195 pp.
A biography of Gerald Durrell, though not nearly as in-depth or revealing as the later Douglas Botting book, although, unlike that 1999 biography, this one was written by a man who had personally known Durrell for many years. It is presented in the form of a series of informal conversations David Hughes had with Durrell, his friends and family, in 1975. By the time the book was completed, Gerald Durrell had suffered an acrimonious split from his first wife, Jacquie. Suddenly the book was considered inappropriate, if not insensitive. Overtaken by events, it was summarily terminated. In the wake of Durrell's death twenty years later, David Hughes dusted off the typescript, radically pruned it by a third (in its original form it had been too long and rambling), and published it.
A biography with a difference, this is the story of Jambo (pronounced 'Yambo'), the most famous resident of Jersey Zoo after Gerald Durrell. In 1986 this magnificent silverback gorilla, who died in 1992, seemed to protect a young boy who had fallen into his enclosure. The incident was headline news around the world and helped to dispel the myth of the gorilla as a savage beast. With 32 b/w photos.
2001. KAUFMANN-WRIGHT, BARRY. The Wildlife Man. Minerva Press. Second edition 2002: Upfront Publishing, Leicestershire.
In 1961 Jeremy Mallinson, a young keeper at Jersey Zoo destined in time to become its director, was granted leave of absence to undertake his own animal-collecting expedition to Botswana and what was then Southern Rhodesia. Most of the animals he brought back took up residence at Jersey Zoo. B/w photos.
1980. MALLINSON, JEREMY. The Facts about a Zoo: Featuring The Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. G. Whizzard/Andre Deutsch, London. Hb. 60 pp.
A behind-the-scenes look at this remarkable zoo; written by a man who was intimately connected with the place for more than forty years. Introduction by Gerald Durrell. Illusrated.
Jeremy Mallinson, working on behalf of the Jersey Zoo, travelled extensively, and here he describes some of his forays to various exotic locations, hot on the trail of threatened and endangered species. Foreword by Gerald Durrell. Illustrated.
Published in the fiftieth anniversary year of the former Jersey Zoo (now Durrell Wildlife), this is the autobiography of the man largely responsible, after Gerald Durrell himself, for shaping Jersey Zoo, as its Deputy Director, Zoological Director and finally (after Durrell's death) its Director. Illustrated. I wrote a full review of this book for International Zoo News, vol. 57/1 (no. 378), page 29.
1992. WHITLEY, EDWARD. Gerald Durrell's Army. John Murray, London. Hb. 241 pp.
Not content with founding Jersey Zoo and, later, no fewer than three Wildlife Preservation Trusts, Gerald Durrell was determined that his zoo should become a mini-university for captive breeding, where students would be welcomed from around the globe to learn the science (or, perhaps more correctly, the art) of captive breeding. They would then return to their homelands to put what they had learned into practice. Edward Whitley toured the world to see what progress had been made by some of the graduates of the International Training Centre, situated next to Jersey Zoo. Above all the book shows that modern zoos are not just about exhibiting animals to the public, but, like Gerald Durrell's zoo, are increasingly adopting an altogether more holistic approach to wildlife conservation. 16 b/w photos. Also line drawings by Bryan Hanlon.
By 1977, what had started out as a simple annual report had gradually evolved into virtually a scientific treatise. This was reflected in its change of name that year to The Dodo (this extinct flightless bird is the symbol of the zoo). With numerous essays detailing the zoo's activities, both at home and abroad, it continued to be published annually until 2001, when it was suddenly terminated. The reason it was discontinued is unclear. By then production costs had certainly become prohibitively expensive for a charitable organisation to bear. But other sources report that it was because it was failing to attract sufficient peer reviews. The retirement of Jeremy Mallinson, its editor and guiding light for many years and, latterly, its Editorial Consultant, may also have contributed to its demise. Whatever the real reason, it is a shame a way could not have been found to keep it going.
KILVERSTONE WILDLIFE PARK
1979. FISHER, ROSAMUND. My Jungle Babies. Allen & Unwin. Hb. 181 pp.
In 1973 John and Rosamund Fisher established in one corner of their Norfolk estate a wildlife park (the Kilverstone 'New World' Wildlife Park) which they ran for eighteen years. Here they gathered together the largest collection of New World mammals and birds ever seen in one place this side of the Atlantic, and, even more importantly, built up an enviable breeding record. The wildlife park was destined to founder during the economic recession of the early 1990s. The original hardback edition (but not the subsequent paperback version) contains b/w photos.
2003. KEELING, C.H. Little Acorns Grow. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 42 pp.
It is a little known fact that the original Linton Zoological Garden was opened in June 1969. At the end of 1971, following a family tragedy, the owner decided to sell up, and new owners moved in. This is the story of the zoo during those early, forgotten years of 1970 and 1971 when the author was employed there as Curator.
1973. ALLDIS, JAMES. Animals as Friends: A Headkeeper Remembers London Zoo. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, Devon. Hb. 127 pp.
Warm and humorous reminiscences from James Alldis' forty-one year career at London Zoo. 28 b/w photographs.
2005. BARRINGTON-JOHNSON, J. The Zoo: The Story of London Zoo. Robert Hale Ltd., London. Pb. 192 pp.
My first thought, when I came across this glossy and very beautiful book, was 'Do we really need another book examining the already well-documented history of the London Zoo?' In fact the book is generally very good, although, as is almost inevitable in a work of this kind, there are a few unfortunate errors, some of them quite major ones (the Great Indian Rhinoceros is not the largest of the five extant species of rhino, as the book claims; that distinction belongs to the White Rhino). Annoyingly, the famous animal characters are not listed by name in the index, so anyone wanting to read about, for example, Jumbo or Cholmondley has to trawl through fourteen general references to elephants or ten references to chimpanzees, respectively. As well as the London Zoo, the book has much to say about Whipsnade. Where it scores above other books on the same, or essentially the same, subject, is that it doesn't just dwell on the early history but also tackles in some detail more recent happenings, such as the London Zoo's cash crisis of the 1990s. Illustrated with over seventy colour and black-and-white photos.
1898. BARTLETT, A.D. Wild Animals in Captivity. Chapman & Hall, London. Edited by Edward Bartlett.
1900. BARTLETT, A.D. Life Among Wild Beasts in the Zoo. Edited by Edward Bartlett.
Abraham Dee Bartlett (1812–1897) was the almost legendary Superintendent of the London Zoo for much of the nineteenth century. In his usual attire of suit and top hat, he cut an imposing figure. In his will he devised that all his books, personal papers, writings, drawings, and scientific publications should go to his son, Edward Bartlett, for the purpose of publishing his experiences with wild animals in captivity. Although the papers were in a state of considerable chaos, Edward Bartlett eventually succeeded in his formidable task and this pair of books was the result. Both clearly shows the lengths his illustrious father was prepared to go to in order to improve the quality of his charges' lives.
1830. BENNETT, EDWARD TURNER (editor). The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society Delineated. Sharpe, London.
In two volumes.
1976. BLUNT, WILFRID. The Ark in the Park: The Zoo in the Nineteenth Century. Book Club Associates/Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., London. Hb. 256 pp.
One of a number of books published in 1976 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Zoological Society of London. The author made much use of the Zoological Society of London’s voluminous archives of press cuttings. The nineteenth century was an exciting era for the London Zoo. Many of its earliest animal arrivals were the first of their kind to be seen in Britain, and provided a source of astonishment to Londoners, most of whom had never imagined such creatures existed.
1926. BOULENGER, E.G. A Naturalist at the Zoo. Duckworth, London.
Of Belgium descent (his surname means Baker), E.G. Boulenger was the son of the famous ichthyologist and herpetologist G.A. Boulenger. E.G. was appointed London Zoo’s first Curator of Reptiles in 1911 and later Director of the Aquarium, but his interest and knowledge extended to other animals besides reptiles and fish. However, his books, though sound in factual detail, were dry and humourless tomes. In 1932 The Aquarium Book and A Naturalist at the Zoo were republished in a single volume entitled The Zoo and Aquarium Book. He died in 1946.
More insightful glimpses behind-the-scenes of the London Zoo. The author, director of the London Zoo's aquarium, was a man ahead of his time. In his earlier books he had been careful not to give vent to his personal views. In this book he suddenly became more forthright. In an era when animals were confined to small and unnatural barred cages, he nurtured a hope that the zoo of the future would be a zoo reversed, with the public walking about on caged pathways from whence they would be able to see the animals enjoying life in vast fifty-acre paddocks. There would be less reliance on bars. So spacious would the ideal zoo be that binoculars and telescopes would be possibly obtainable on application to the attendant. In the context of the times, such views were nothing short of revolutionary.
1934. BOULENGER, E.G. Infants of the Zoo. J.M. Dent & Sons, London.
There is a common fallacy that, until about the middle of the twentieth century, animals merely eked out an existence in zoos, leading short, monotonous and unproductive lives. Whilst this was certainly true for some species whose requirements in captivity at that time were still not yet fully understood, many animals did breed, as the charming photographs and accompanying text in this book show.
1936. BRIGHTWELL, L.R. The Zoo You Knew?
L.R. Brightwell is generally regarded as having been the first zoo historian, which makes the numerous errors to be found in the book all the more inexplicable.
1952. BRIGHTWELL, L.R. The Zoo Story. The Museum Press.
To the disappointment of many who thought they were buying a completely new book, this was essentially the same author’s The Zoo You Knew? under another title, with some additional text expounding the story of the London Zoo during wartime.
Date? BRIGHTWELL, L.R. Zoo Calendar.
1953. CANSDALE, GEORGE. George Cansdale's Zoo Book. Phoenix House, Ltd., London. Hb. 64 pp.
A book for children written by the one-time superintendent of the London Zoo, a pioneer of studio-based wildlife programmes. Illustrated with 73 black-and-white photographs. A revised edition was published in 1956.
A collection of thematically unrelated essays depicting life at the London Zoo in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Some, or most, of the chapters had previously been published in the Spectator, and were extended for the purpose of the book.
1976. CRAMMOND, JOAN. Dear Zoo. Cassell & Collier Macmillan. Hb.
Joan Crammond was Assistant Public Relations Officer to the Zoological Society of London. In this book she provides short biographies of nine of the most popular animal characters in the London Zoo's history, from Jumbo the African elephant in 1865 to the Giant pandas, Ching-Ching and Chia-Chia, in 1974. A Piccolo paperback edition was published simultaneously by Pan Books.
2012. EDWARDS, JOHN. London Zoo from Old Photographs 1852-1914 (Second Edition). John Edwards, London. Cased. 312 pp.
1911. GASK, LILIAN. Bird Wonders of the Zoo. Darton, London.
These two books are written in a very 'novelesque' way, but both do contain sound information about the animals. The premise is of stories and anecdotes of animals in the London Zoo told by an old Colonel, a keen sportsman in days gone by, to Geoff, a schoolboy, to whom the delights of football are for a time forbidden. The personal history of many of the larger animals was supplied by their keepers.
1976. GOODWIN, L.G. and MARTIN, R.D. Golden Days: Historic Photographs of the London Zoo. Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., London. 64 pp.
A series of fascinating photos, each with the briefest of captions, sometimes no more than two words such as ‘Lion sleeping’. Many of the pictures are the work of Frederick William Bond (1887–1942), an accountant who joined the staff of the Zoological Society of London in 1903, and who had a talent for animal photography. They show the London Zoo as it was between the two world wars. Other photos were taken by Frederick Martin Duncan (1873–1961) and David Seth-Smith (1875–1963). Foreword by Professor Lord Zuckerman, then Honorary Secretary of the Zoological Society of London. In both cloth and paperback editions.
1970. GRAHAM-JONES, OLIVER. First Catch Your Tiger. Collins, London. Hb. 223 pp.
The daunting problems, victories and heartaches of ministering to the health of the animals at London Zoo, written by its first full-time resident veterinary officer. Introduction by Gerald Durrell. A paperback edition was published by Fontana Books in 1973 under the title Zoo Doctor, thus annoying anyone who thought they were buying a completely different book. The original hardback version contains 24 b/w photos. The inside front and back covers feature a simplified plan of London Zoo, circa 1960.
2001. GRAHAM-JONES, OLIVER. Zoo Tails. Bantam Press, London. Hb. 195 pp.
More touching, poignant, exciting and occasionally funny stories from London Zoo's first fulltime resident vet. Foreword by Desmond Morris.
In the early 1990s, with the threat of closure hanging like the Sword of Damocles over Britain’s national zoo, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England decided to undertake a comprehensive survey of all the buildings, animal enclosures, statues, and other structures in the grounds as a permanent record in case they were lost forever. Contains maps showing the layout of London Zoo in 1829, 1893-4, 1929, and 1991.
1913. INNES POCOCK, CONSTANCE . Highways & Byways of the Zoological Gardens. Adam & Charles Black. London (TM)
Evidently Mr Jolly did not consider a subtitle to be necessary, since Jumbo is still celebrated to this day, over a hundred years after his death. Jumbo was, of course, the first African elephant to arrive at London Zoo. So popular did he become during his sojourn in Regent's Park – he was arguably the most famous animal in the world – that his departure to the Barnum and Bailey Circus in America in 1882 prompted an unprecedented national outcry.
1988. KEELING, C.H. They All Came Into the Ark. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 200 pp.
A record of how the Zoological Society of London coped in two world wars.
1991. KEELING, C.H. In the Beginning. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 46 pp.
A short history of the London Zoo's crucial first year of operation, from 1828–February 1829.
1992. KEELING, C.H. Here, There and Regent's Park. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 86 pp.
Clinton Keeling combines his love of history with his passion for zoology. Each of the nineteen chapters takes a look at an event in British history, from the well documented such as the funeral to Queen Victoria to the not-so-well known such as the Chatham Bus Disaster, and then ends with a description of what was happening at the London Zoo on the same day.
1995. KEELING, C.H. Wonderful Year. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 104 pp.
The story of the London Zoo in 1938, when the zoo was probably at its zenith, a carefree time for many people when war with Germany was still thought extremely unlikely, and the collection of animals gathered together in Regent's Park was arguably the largest and most comprehensive in the world.
2000. KEELING, C.H. Year of Janus. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 155 pp.
The story of the London Zoo in the momentous year 1900, compiled from the Daily Occurrences book.
2001. KEELING, C.H. E. Tenebris. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb.
Published in two volumes totalling more than 320 pages, this presents a thorough examination of the London Zoo's steady progress during its crucial first full decade 1830–1840. The esoteric title is Latin for 'out of the darkness' and is an allusion to the fact that this period is poorly chronicled by other authors and other books.
1938. MACNEICE, LOUIS. Zoo. Michael Joseph Ltd. (TM)
By broadcasting the latest news from London Zoo on the BBC Children's Hour, L.G. Mainland became quite a well-known personality, taking part in 'live' transmissions from the Zoo (a logistical nightmare in the mid-1920s). Among the 'secrets' he reveals is how the bears were moved using cod-liver oil as bait and why some animals die young. Illustrated.
1924. MAINLAND, L.G. True Zoo Stories. S.W. Partridge, London.
L.G.Mainland was a regular columnist for The Daily Mail, in which he would sign his articles, simply, 'L.G.M'. Both these books, written with children in mind, contain vivid descriptions of real-life incidents at the London Zoo that are all but forgotten now.
1929. MITCHELL, PETER CHALMERS. Centenary History of The Zoological Society of London. Zoological Society of London.
A commemoration of the first hundred years of the Zoological Society of London, written by someone who, as its illustrious Secretary, guided its development from 1903–1935. This book was not really intended for a very wide general readership. Its 30+ illustrations do not depict a single non-human inhabitant of the London Zoo, but consist entirely of portraits of officers of the Society.
As expected from the title, it is obviously a book for children and, inevitably, it is very twee, sentimental and anthropomorphic but, for a zoo postcard collector it is very interesting as it reproduces many of the postcards in the "Mary at the Zoo" series published by Mack. The photos are by a young Eric Hoskins who later became famous for his bird photography.
In 1908 the Underground Electric Railway Company introduced pictorial posters to London’s travellers for the first time, promoting ease of travel by public transport to popular destinations. Naturally London Zoo, as one of the capital’s most popular visitor attractions served by no fewer than five Underground stations, featured frequently on these posters, many of which can be considered works of art. This book presents more than 80 pictorial posters, mostly advertisements for the London Zoo but a few promote its country cousin at Whipsnade.
1905. SCHERREN, HENRY. The Zoological Society of London. Cassell, London.
1901. SCLATER, P. L. (Editor). A Record of the Progress of the Zoological Society of London During the Nineteenth Century. William Clowes, London. (TM)
1935. SETH-SMITH, DAVID. Adventures with the Zoo Man.
1925. SIDEBOTHAM, HELEN M. Behind the Scenes at the Zoo. Cassell, London.
Essentially intended for younger readers, but still a fascinating record of London Zoo between the wars.
1927. SIDEBOTHAM, HELEN M. Mysteries of the Zoo.
Cassell and Company Ltd., London.
Hb. 192 pp. The book's 22 chapters offered the reader in the late 1920s an interesting insight into the
history and behind the scenes management, operations, infrastructure and curiosities (the “Mysteries”)
of Regent’s Park Zoo. It also contains a brief chapter entitled “Whipsnade” with
an outline of the plans for a zoological park on the recently purchased land in
the Chilterns. The book is illustrated by ten full page
black and white photo plates. M.R. Horsnell.
A virtual tour around the Regent's Park Zoo in sixteen chapters. As with her previous book, the reader is introduced to many 'named' animal characters along the way. The popularity of this book at the time can be gauged from the fact that it went to a second printing only a month after the first. Illustrated with 12 photos.
1956. STREET, PHILIP. The London Zoo. Odhams.
A companion volume to the same author's 1953 book, 'Whipsnade'.
Undated. TYLINEK, ERICH. London Zoo. Spring Books, London. Hb. 80 pp.
A pictorial book intended for children to provide an introduction to some of the most popular animals to be seen at London Zoo at that time. Erich Tylinek was the photographer; it is unclear whether he also wrote the captions. Although the book is entitled 'London Zoo', some of the photographs were taken at its country cousin, Whipsnade Zoo. The Introduction was provided by the zoo’s director, Dr. L. Harrison Matthews.
1976. VEVERS, GWYNNE. London's Zoo. Bodley Head Ltd., London. Hb. 159 pp.
An anthology to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the Zoological Society of London, with pieces selected from a wide range of sources to illustrate momentous happenings in those thirty-six hallowed acres of Regent’s Park. Although concerned mostly with London Zoo, there are also a few references to Whipsnade Zoo.
1975. CHIPPERFIELD, JIMMY. Macmillan London, Ltd. Hb. 219 pp.
The genesis of Britain's first safari park, showing why the concept was so revolutionary. Although the Marquess of Bath gets top billing, Jimmy Chipperfield provided the lion's share (my apologies for the pun) of the text, which is complimented by over fifty photographs.
1993. ADAMS, JOHN. Marwell: The Story So Far. Marwell Preservation Trust, Hampshire. Pb. 64 pp.
Many zoos, usually as they reach or approach an important anniversary, will publish a short history, recording their achievements and occasional setbacks. This book, written by a Bartlett Society founder member who knows Marwell intimately, having worked there for many years, was published in Marwell’s 21st anniversary year. By the early nineties, the emphasis at Marwell was changing and animal species it had never considered before were being brought in for the first time. It was a time to reflect on past accomplishments and look to the future.
More from the Woolly Monkey Sanctuary before it forgot its roots.
1988. BAKER, JACK. Chimps, Champs & Elephants. SJH Publications Ltd., Paignton, Devon. Pb. 155 pp.
The story of Paignton Zoo is the story of its eccentric and passionate founder, Herbert Whitley. A reminder that some of our best zoos were founded by true eccentrics, which seem to be thin on the ground these days. A very good read but no index. 38 black-and-white photographs. Foreword by Philip Michelmore., then Managing Director of the Herbert Whitley Trust.
2005. KNOWLING, PHILIP. Zoo Story. Halsgrove, Tiverton, Devon. Hb. 96 pp.
A follow-up to the TV series of the same name (first broadcast on ITV Westcountry), telling the story of the three animal collections owned by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. Although the emphasis is on the Paignton Zoo Envornmental Park, as being the largest and oldest of these, there are also brief sections on Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts. Written by Paignton Zoo’s own Press Officer, the book is illustrated with a multitude of colour photographs, but at the expense of the text, which is not as comprehensive as it could have been.
See Ashover Zoological Garden.
PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL PARK
See Howletts Wild Animal Park.
SHEPRETH WILDLIFE PARK/WILLERSMILL WILDLIFE PARK
1987. WILLERS, TERRY. Our Little Ark. Published privately. Pb. 66 pp.
I confess I am growing weary of so many zoo books having the word 'ark' in the title. Be that as it may, this slim book shows the uphill struggle some zoos face – particularly in the first few years as they strive to get themselves known – against insolvency, an implacable bank manager and whinging neighbours. The book ended on an uncertain note. Would the place survive or wouldn't it? But survive against all the odds it did, and what started life as the Willers Mill Wild Animal Sanctuary has evolved into the popular Shepreth Wildlife Park. 13 colour photos.
SOUTH LAKES WILD ANIMAL PARK
2011. GILL, DAVID S. Nine Lives: One Man's Insatiable Journey Through Love, Life and Near Death. DSG Publishing Ltd. Hb & Pb. 544 pp.
This is the autobiography of the founder and owner of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Cumbria, one of the newest and most go-ahead animal collections in Britain, even if, occasionally, it adopts a rather unorthodox approach. No stranger to controversy, David Gill is not one to hide his light under a bushel, as is made clear right from the subtitle. He is seen by many as a maverick. He sees himself as a man on a mission. Well illustrated with over 120 colour photos.
2003. HAHN, DANIEL. The Tower Menagerie: Being the Amazing True Story of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts. Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London. Hb. 260 pp.
A history of Britain's first official 'zoo' (though never known by that title) – the Royal menagerie in the Tower of London – which lasted for an incredible six centuries. The book of interest not only to zoo historians but also to students of English history.
1999. PARNELL, GEOFFREY. The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London. Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. Pb. 32 pp.
A superficial treatment of a big subject.
1998. RISDON, BETTY. The Road to Rode: The Story of the Tropical Bird Gardens at Rode. Published by the Rode Tropical Bird Gardens. Pb. 140 pp.
1979. BADHAM, MOLLY with LAWLESS, MAUREEN. Chimps with Everything: The Story of Twycross Zoo. W.H. Allen, London. Hb. 143 pp.
A warm and affectionate account of the birth of one of the world's most respected zoological gardens. Some of the stories would be recycled in a later book, 'Molly's Zoo'. There are some really rather silly, if fairly minor, errors of fact. As with the later book, Molly's Zoo, most of the actual craft of composition was probably done by Maureen Lawless. Foreword by Gerald Durrell, who knew Molly Badham well.
2000. BADHAM, MOLLY and EVANS, NATHALIE with LAWLESS, MAUREEN. Molly's Zoo: Monkey Mischief at Twycross. Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London. Hb (232 pp.). Pb (234 pp.).
Published to tie-in with the popular television series of the same name. As with her earlier book, Molly Badham's warmth and affection for her charges shines through. It is an entertaining read, touching and often very funny, even if some of her ideas about running a zoo seem anachronistic to us now. But the one thing that really rankles with me is the subtitle ‘Monkey Mischief at Twycross’. Since it is Twycross’s great apes that take centre stage in the book, and there is even a fetching photograph of a young chimpanzee on the cover, the subtitle merely reinforces the popular misconception in the minds of the public that such animals are just big monkeys. Frankly I was surprised that Badham and Evans, above all people, would make this cardinal error. So I rather think the whimsical and misleading subtitle was the publisher's decision. A paperback edition was published by Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in 2002. Anyone interested in finding out more about Molly Badham’s remarkable life can also go to a slim (36 numbered pages) commemorative booklet called A Celebration of Life, published by Twycross Zoo after her death in 2007. For anyone wishing to know more about Molly Badham and the history of the zoo she and Nathalie Evans founded, there is also a pictorial 38-page booklet A Celebration of Life, published by, and available from, Twycross Zoo.
VERULAMIUM BRITISH WILDLIFE ZOO
1965. DANGERFIELD, GRAHAME. The Unintended Zoo. Quality Book Club, London. Hb. 186 pp.
The creation of a private zoo by a naturalist well-known to a whole generation of people in the 1960s and '70s for his many television appearances. The zoo, in his four-acre garden, ultimately failed, but it sowed the germ of the idea for the Verulamium British Wildlife Zoo, St. Albans (now closed).
1998. WARNER, MABEL. “Thank you my duck!” Rima Publishing, Banbury, Oxon. Hb. Pb. 184 pp.
Mrs Mabel Warner recounts her struggles and triumphs, joys and occasional sadness, in establishing an Oxfordshire sanctuary, open to the public, for waterfowl and other creatures.
WEST MIDLAND SAFARI PARK
See also Zoological Society of London.
1932. BERRIDGE, W.S. The Whipsnade Zoo and Its Inmates. A. and C. Black, London.
A very early look at Whipsnade Park and its first animal arrivals, marred slightly by a few careless errors of fact, but still a very important historical record of a bygone age.
1934. DAVIDSON, GLADYS. At Whipsnade Zoo. Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., London. Hb. 160 pp.
Written for young readers as No. 2 in the “Discovery Book” series, it describes a day spent at Whipsnade Country Zoo by two children, John and Jane Howe, escorted by Wally the Wallaby as their guide. Each of the 21 chapters finds the children in a different part of the zoo with Wally and his friends providing information about the animals encountered. The book is illustrated by pen & ink drawings within the text by L.R. Brightwell and contains an Introduction by Gladys Davidson and an Index. An outline map of the zoo is presented on the inside front cover and frontispiece, repeated on the inside of the back cover. M.R. Horsnell.
1937. DAVIDSON, GLADYS. Whipsnade Zoo Again. Thomas
Nelson & Sons Ltd., London. Hb. 160 pp. Written for young readers
as No. 17 in the “Discovery Book” series, it describes another day spent at
Whipsnade Park by children John & June Howe escorted by Wally the Wallaby as
their guide. Each of the 19 chapters finds the children in a different part of
the zoo and reflects the development and additions at the zoo since their first
1934 visit (see above). The book is illustrated with pen and ink drawings by
L.R. Brightwell and contains an Acknowledgment by Gladys Davidson to Captain
W.P.B. Beal and his staff and an Index. An outline map of the zoo is presented
on the inside front cover and frontispiece. M.R. Horsnell.
1973. DURRELL, GERALD. Beasts in My Belfry. Collins, Glasgow. The author recounts the one-and-a-half years Gerald Durrell spent as a student keeper at Whipsnade at the end of World War Two. Published in the U.S.A. by Simon & Schuster (1980) under a different title A Bevy of Beasts.
The story of Whipsnade and its contribution to species conservation. In the final chapter the author, who was born and raised in Kenya and saw many of the animals in their natural habitat, confronts the perennial dilemma of whether it is morally right to keep non-domestic animals in captivity, and accepts that for many species, teetering on the brink of extinction, it may be their only hope of survival. Foreword by Lord Zuckerman.
1990. KEELING, C.H. Whipsnade's War. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 99 pp.
Two well-researched books detailing the trials and tribulations of the Zoological Society of London during World Wars I and II, showing how the two zoos coped with staff shortages, food rationing and, during the latter conflict, bombing raids.
1999. KEELING, C.H. Sir Peter'sWay. Clam Publications, Guildford, Surrey. Pb. 86 pp.
The full story of the build-up to Whipsnade's opening day and the story of its momentous first year of operation from January 1931 to May 1932.
1991. PENDAR, LUCY. Whipsnade 'My Africa'. The Book Castle, Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Pb. 194 pp.
An intimate profile of the first sixty years of this world-renowned park. I always feel that books written from first-hand knowledge seem more authoritative than those penned by someone 'on the outside looking in', as it were, and this book is one of the best on Whipsnade because it was written from the unique viewpoint of a woman who lived there as a young girl and personally knew, and conversed with, many of the human characters who worked in the Park during those early years. Over 130 rare photographs and original line drawings provide the illustrations.
1933. SIDEBOTHAM, HELEN M. The Whipsnade Animal
Book for Children and Others. Victor Gollancz Ltd., Covent
Garden. Hb. 212 pp. Each of the 21 chapters of
the book contains a comprehensive guide to many of the animals which would have
been found in the zoo in 1933. This is more of an academic book than the title
would imply and is illustrated by line drawings in the text by John R. Skeaping
and includes 6 blank pages headed Notes at the end of the book. A schematic
outline map of the zoo by John Skeaping is presented on the inside front cover
and frontispiece, repeated on the inside back cover. M.R. Horsnell.
1953. STREET, PHILIP. Whipsnade. University of London Press Ltd., London. Hb. 128 pp. A timely tribute (it was published only a year after Whipsnade had celebrated its twenty-first anniversary) to this once revolutionary zoo park, looking at its history and achievements, future aims and its most important animal species. Introduction by L. Harrison Matthews, then director of the Zoological Society of London, and a Foreword by Whipsnade’s second Superintendent, E.H. Tong. Illustrated with line drawings and black-and-white photographs.
The book contains a detailed account of the history and development of the 2ft 6inch narrow gauge steam railway at Whipsnade from its inception in 1968, through the operation of the Whipsnade & Umfolozi Railway by Pleasurerail from 1970, to the takeover of the system by Whipsnade Zoo in 1990. The book includes 28 pages of black and white photos and numerous line drawings of engines, rolling stock and track layouts. The final chapter outlines the animals that can be seen from the train during its 2 mile circular journey. Appendices to the text present Chronology of Key Dates, Railway Managers and Traffic Figures. M.R. Horsnell.
WILDFOWL & WETLANDS TRUST
1996. FOWLER, DIANA and ECKLEY, SIMON. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. Chalford Publishing Company Ltd., Stroud, Gloucestershire. Pb. 128 pp.
A collection of black-and-white photographs, part of the Archive Photographs series of books, charting the development of the various Wildfowl & Wetlands centres, issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Trust.
1993. HUXLEY, ELSPETH. Peter Scott: Painter and Naturalist. Faber and Faber Ltd., London. Hb. 361 pp. + 20 prelims.
The authorised biography of the founder of the Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust). Introduction by Sir David Attenborough. With 44 colour and b/w photos.
1961 (revised 1966). SCOTT, PETER. The Eye of the Wind. Several editions by different publishers. Hb. Pb.
Peter Scott's life story (up to the 1960s anyway) in his own words. B/w photos.
2009. WALKDEN, PAUL. The Wild Geese of the Newgrounds. Friends of WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire (publisher). Hb. 80 pp. Ill. with colour plates, line drawings and graphs.
Written as a tribute to Sir Peter Scott by a man who knew him well, this book tells the story of the setting up of the Severn Wildfowl Trust in 1946 (later the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust), with chapters on the White-fronted Geese and nine other wild goose species seen at Slimbridge - some common like the Pink-footed Goose, others rare vagrants like the Snow Goose - the history of the River Severn, wildfowling on the Severn, and Peter Scott's revolutionary design of rocket nets to catch live geese. Published in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Peter Scott.
1994. TAYLOR, DAVID. The Animals Came Out Two by Two: The Final Days of Windsor Safari Park. Robson Books Ltd., London. Pb. 168 pp.
When Windsor Safari Park was forced to close in 1992, international zoo vet and veterinary consultant to the Park, David Taylor, faced the unenviable task of finding new homes for more than 600 animals. This is his moving chronicle of how the almost-insurmountable was achieved, with not a single animal being destroyed as impossible to re-home.
ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON (London and Whipsnade Zoos in general)
See also London Zoo; Whipsnade Zoo.
1973. CHINERY, MICHAEL. Animals in the Zoo. William Collins Sons and Company Ltd, Glasgow and London. Hb. 96 pp.
A collection of mostly black-and-white photographs, with brief captions by Michael Chinery, taken at the two zoos belonging to the Zoological Society of London, by its resident photographer for many years, Michael Lyster.
1976. CHINERY, MICHAEL. Life in the Zoo. William Collins Sons & Company Ltd., Glasgow and London. Pb. 96 pp.
Not dissimilar from the author's 1973 book 'Animals in the Zoo' but with much more text to accompany Michael Lyster’s photographs. In both cased and paperback editions.