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Zoo Anniversary Brings Unusual Stories To Light in Bristol

Zoo Anniversary Brings Unusual Stories To Light

Tales of a monkey kissing a tortoise and lion cubs taking a ride in a bicycle basket are just some of the more wacky stories that have come forward as part of Bristol Zoo’s anniversary celebrations.


The zoo is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2011 and has been asking members of the public to send in any memories and memorabilia.


More than 20 members of the public have sent in videos, stories and photographs. Former zookeeper Robert Bishop was one of those who responded.

Bishop, 67, worked at the zoo in the 1960s. He said:  “We found some photos of my wife on a bicycle with some lion cubs in the basket and of my wife’s brother feeding the lion cubs. I also have footage of behind the scenes, in the keepers’ mess room and in the deer house.

“Everyone’s always been very interested in the film when I’ve showed the footage to the family, I think they like seeing the zoo as it was. It’s nice to see the zoo doing so well today.”

Some unusual photos were also sent in by Arthur Stenner, whose father George ‘Ted’ Stenner worked with primates at the zoo for over 30 years. He retired in 1927. His photos show a chimpanzee kissing a giant tortoise and monkeys meeting children who were visiting the zoo.


Production company ArthurCox is working with the zoo to create an anniversary film made up of some of the old video footage. An anniversary book has also been published, entitled An Illustrated History of Bristol Zoo Gardens.

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