Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ghost Exhibit's--Oklahoma City Zoo's "Monkey Island"

Oklahoma City Zoo has open a new building called the Zooseum, filled with history of the zoo. Included is this interactive diorama of the old "Monkey Island" exhibit at the zoo. What an incredible idea!!!

In 1935 "Monkey Island" was built by the WPA, and the sunken ship was 80 feet long and came with a 17 foot mast for the primates to climb on. The underground quarters even had a heating system, which was fairly revolutionary for its time. Initially the island featured 35 rhesus monkeys, and in 1936 5 ring-tailed lemurs were briefly added to the exhibit. The lemurs eventually were removed because they bullied the monkeys. In 1998 "Monkey Island" was demolished/dismantled by the zoo.


Jim A. said...

Hooray for OKC! I wish more zoos would have at least a small area dedicated to their history. St. Louis put together a nice exhibit to celebrate their centennial that seemed to be pretty popular. I've long thought to original Small Mammal House in America's first zoo, Philadelphia would have been a great location for a zoo museum. Nothing wrong with showing how popular zoos have always been, what we have learned and zoo's role in education, and our role in conservation around the world. (Reality, it's not my money.)

terry said...

My Mom's Dad helped build the Monkey Ship exhibit through the WPA. I remember seeing it as a young girl and riding the boat on the zoo's lake.