|Gorilla statues at Bristol Harbourside|
Bristol Zoo also found international fame in 1934 when Adam, the first chimpanzee to be conceived and born in captivity in Europe, was born. Another well loved character was Alfred the gorilla, who lived at the Zoo from 1930 to 1948. Alfred was, at the time, the only gorilla in captivity in the country and was a very popular Bristol citizen.
Many people also have particularly fond memories of Rosie the elephant, who gave rides to 80,000 children a year throughout the 1940s and 50s; Roger, a black rhino, who was the first rhino ever born in the UK, in 1958; and the Zoo’s more recent elephants, Wendy and Christina who were taken for walks to Whiteladies Road during the 1960s.
Even those who lived too far to visit Bristol Zoo got to know some of its inhabitants as they found fame with Johnny Morris’ popular television series, Animal Magic, broadcast from the Zoo during the 1960s.
For Bristol, July also saw the launch of the Wow! Gorillas campaign, in which 60 fibreglass gorilla sculptures painted by a variety of artists were placed all over the city for the summer. This was a great event, and enormously popular with the local press, as a lot of people made a point of visiting each one to have their photo taken with them.
|Greater Flamingos with chicks|
|New Stream Garden|
September kicked off to a good start with the zoo winning the Bristol in Bloom gold medal. The award reflects the whole Zoo, as the judges not only take in to consideration the landscape, but many other factors such as cleanliness and recycling initiatives.
Judges gave particular credit to the Zoo’s new stream garden area that opened earlier this year. The gardening team made the area as interesting as possible by including a variety of features, including a stream, pond, aviaries, stumpery and a variety of plantings, such as poppies, peonies and roses.
|Chills being grown in off-show greenhouse|
|Baby gorilla Kukena|
|Earl of Wessex with Gorisambard|
|Utila island iguanas|
In November we also collected awards from BIAZA for the “best education project” and “best research project” for the year. The research project award has been given for an in-depth study on the nocturnal northern giant mouse lemur in Sahamalaza National Park, north-western Madagascar.
The education project award was given for the Zoo’s project called ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, which aimed to highlight the importance of biodiversity in celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Commendations were also awarded to Bristol Zoo in three categories – best field conservation project for its white-clawed crayfish project; best education project for its spider phobia courses, and best new zoo enclosure for the zoo’s amphibian breeding facility, the AmphiPod.
|Solar panels on roof of veterinary building|
|Baby Goeldi's marmoset on parent|
That’s about it for this years’ news from Bristol. I have one more post for 2011, and then I hope to see you again in 2012! Any comments or requests would, as always, be much appreciated.
(images from Bristol zoo website)