Anybody interested in zoo history is fascinated to know which animal species particular zoological gardens have kept over the years. “Did zoo x ever keep species y?” is a frequent question on online zoo forums. Unfortunately it is not always a simple question to answer. Zoos have not always kept good records, particularly with anything that is not a mammal, and even when records have been kept, going back many years, this information is often not published or made freely available to anybody outside the zoo in question. Even today, it seems that only a comparatively small number of zoos publish an annual inventory of their animal collection; and zoos hardly ever – if ever – seem to publish a complete inventory of every species they have ever had, with dates. So the Bartlett Society has made a start in attempting to remedy this situation.
It will be a gradual process. No doubt, as more lists are added, they will reveal some surprises as well as showing changing trends in our zoos. The lists are not perfect. Inevitably there are omissions, vagueness in dates, and occasional errors. If you spot any mistakes, or think you can help fill in any of the gaps, please do let us know. If anybody has compiled the historic animal inventory of their own favourite zoo, we would be delighted to receive it and, with the consent of the zoo, publish it here.
Cotswold Wildlife Park (compiled by Louise Peat)
NB: Species marked with an asterisk are currently kept in the collection
Jersey Zoo (compiled by Russell Tofts)
Marwell Wildlife (compiled by Russell Tofts)