Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ghost Zoo--Crandon Park, North Miami, Fla.

1951 Animal food area

1970 I can't find much on Crandon Park's gorilla program. Does anyone know the name of the male above, from Crandon Park Zoo?




If the theme song from the television show "Flipper" doesn't bring a lump to your throat, you are stone cold. Next to Roy Rogers one of my all time favorite show.

18 comments:

Greg May said...

KING OF AQUARIA says: "Talk about coincidence. Just as I was preparing an article for this website entitled 'Rain Forest Dolphins' I read the blog about Crandon Park Zoo. One of the animals that died during Hurricane Betsy of 1965 was an Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis).

Anonymous said...

I went to the Crandon Park Zoo in 1970 and I didn't see any gorillas, chimpanzees, or orang-utans. I don't think they had any. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade, Did you like Gentle Ben? Sincerely Paul

Wade G. Burck said...

Paul,
Gentle Ben, like Flicka, Mr. Ed, etc. later Black Stallion, Born Free and recently War Horse never really floated my boat. To "unbelievable" and syrupy in their action's and story line. Trigger, Flipper, and Fury were by favorite's. An animal doing something remarkable under the watchful eye of man, while retaining it's aloofness held more "honesty" for me then an animal doing something remarkable, then coming up and licking and hugging all over the man, giving the "illusion" of not being able to survive without it's person. Nonsense.

Wade

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether Crandon Park Zoo or the city of Miami made a deal with Monkey Jungle so that the zoo wouldn't keep apes so they wouldn't be in competition so much. Monkey Jungle had gorillas and was privately owned. They didn't like having to subsidize the competition with their tax dollars. Sincerely Paul

Wade G. Burck said...

Paul,
That is an interesting thought that I had never considered. Monkey Jungle got a lot of press, for a lot of year's for having "the only," "the largest", "the fattest," "the oldest," etc. etc. gorilla. It is not a stretch that they would make a deal with cross town rival, Crandon Park.

Wade

Anonymous said...

I worked as a volunteer at Crandon Park Zoo, summer of 1975. I remember "Colonel" the Gorilla, he was very old. One day he got very angry at some onlookers and threw a tire at the bars so hard everyone scattered. I also remember "Old Pete" the Mandrill. He was something else.

Wade G. Burck said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for your insight. Yes, a male gorilla can be frighting, as can a male mandrill. Do you recall who was the director during your time at Crandon Park Zoo?

Wade

Anonymous said...

Wade: The gorilla in the picture is at Monkey Jungle, not at the Crandon Park Zoo. I've seen that exact same picture of the gorilla on a postcard for sale on E-Bay, and it said the gorilla, or the caption stated, that he was at Monkey Jungle. I can't find that particular item currently on sale on E-Bay. I was looking through the listings for gorillas in the studbook and I couldn't find any record of a gorilla in Miami, outside of Monkey Jungle, prior to 1983. I didn't see any listing for a gorilla named "Colonel", and there were no listings for any gorillas ever at Crandon Park Zoo, only for Metro-Zoo, starting in 1983, which I think is the year they opened. Monkey Jungle had a male gorilla named "King", who was born in 1969, studbook no. 0708, and another male named "Bulu", born in 1946, studbook no. 0020. I'll have another look for Colonel. Sincerely Paul PS: I also had a copy of the Crandon Park Zoo Guide, and it didn't feature any gorillas, but the last time I visited Crandon Park was around 1969, and the other person said that Colonel was there in 1975 (after my time).

Anonymous said...

Wade: I just rechecked and found a listing for a gorilla named "Colonel", studbook no. 184, born in 1961, went to Lincoln Park Zoo in 1964, then to Bekesbrne in 1973, and then to Denver in 1983. He died there on Sept. 24, 1986. The earliest records of gorillas in Miami are "Jimmie Gee", studbook no. 388, arriving at Metro-Zoo from New Iberia in 1983 (the year they opened), and Josephine (389) also arriving in 1983 from New Iberia. I think it's significant that "Colonel" was moved to Denver Zoo in 1983. That must have been the year that Crandon Park Zoo closed, I'm guessing. "Mighty Joe Young" was on TV yesterday. Sincerely Paul PS: The Gorillas Galore website shows no record of any gorilla ever named "Colonel" or having the number 184, at Lincoln Park Zoo, or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Wade: The gorilla in the picture was living at Monkey Jungle in 1972, so he had to have been King or Bulu. I found the same picture in the Google News Archive. The superintendent and veterinarian at the old Crandon Park Zoo in 1975 was Dr. Gordon Hubbell. In 1979 the Zoological Society of Florida, which ran the Crandon Park Zoo, was campaigning to buy three gorillas with S&H Green stamps. They wanted to have the gorillas in time for the grand opening of the Metro-Zoo in 1981, and they were also planning to acquire five orang-utans from Indonesia for a total of $90,000, or $18,000 each. They anticipated that the gorillas would cost $25,000 each. I can find no mention in the Google News Archive of any gorilla ever living at the Crandon Park Zoo. It sounds as though Dr. Gordon Hubbell was some what controversial. I think he was the director of the Salt Lake City Zoo when they had "Shasta" the liger. There is a mention of a black camel born at Crandon Park Zoo. Regarding the CNN show about Detroit Zoo, they featured a "bachelor" group of three half brothers born at the Bronx Zoo, which was interesting. They talked about their heart problems which were attributed to diet. That must have been the very first zoo I ever visited as a child growing up in Detroit. I had a copy of the zoo guide, which featured a baby gorilla using a hose, Siberian tigers in a huge open air exhibit which still appears to be in use (I wonder whether Hagenbeck oversaw its construction as he did some of the exhibits at Cincinnati Zoo), a blue bear from Alaska which I had never heard of, and a baby black rhino born at the zoo. Sincerely Paul PS: I also had a copy of the Taronga Zoo Guide, although I've never been to Australia. I remember they had a gorilla named "Little John", a Sumatran tiger, and an elephant from Ceylon, who was originally intended as a gift for Hitler.

Anonymous said...

Wade: I was looking again for any old newspaper articles about a gorilla named "Colonel", but no luck. I did find this article: "Crandon Park Zoo director criticized", concerning allegations of animal mistreatment at the zoo, from The St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 7, 1975. Dr. Gordon Hubbell went on to work for the Metro-Zoo when it opened. One article concerned his proposal that the Crandon Park Zoo start charging admission during the construction of the Metro-Zoo. I would guess that the Metro-Zoo, and moving Miami Zoo out of Crandon Park, was his idea and his project. There were more articles concerning allegations of animal cruelty at the zoo from as far back as 1961, under a different director. When I type in "Crandon Park Zoo" into the search engine that's the first thing that comes up. Nothing about any gorilla named "Colonel". Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: Anything "Flipper" related definitely brings a lump to my throat. I forget to mention, regarding the above gorilla in the picture, that I fed that gorilla, when I was a kid. They had a thing just like a gumball machine, only filled with peanuts, at Monkey Jungle in Florida. You put the money in and it deposited the peanuts into the gorillas' enclosure. The peanuts went all over the floor, and none of the three gorillas took any interest. They were all sitting on their rear-ends, with their legs stretched out, and their backs against the wall, the way people would sit. They evidently had two adult males co-habituating with a female. I have in front of me the January 1960 issue of National Geographic which has an article about gorillas in captivity in central Africa. It's on page 114, "Face to Face With Gorillas in Central Africa" by Paul A. Zahl, Ph.D. There is a photograph of a gorilla in captivity in Africa, a huge male, named "Mundi" (Prince) in a jungle enclosure near Utu, in the Belgian-Congo. He doesn't look to me as though he belongs to any gorilla species or subspecies which I recognize, although the gorillas featured in the article are described as "mountain gorillas", as far as I'm concerned they're not ! These captive gorillas were being kept at the IRSAC, which was the Belgian Government's Instutute for Scientific Research in Central Africa which was established by Royal Decree in 1947. I wanted to look at this because I had the impression that they were capturing adult gorillas, in fact an entire family group, and I thought they had at least one captive birth. Part of the article reads: "Bottle feeding for a Jungle Orphan", "It so happens," Rahm said, "I'm going to the Utu camp to visit IRSAC gorillas recently collected for us by Cordier." There are pictures of a baby gorilla named Noel, wearing diapers, and with pink blotches on her skin (partial albinism?) which the author says will darken with age. It says that Noel was found abandoned and wailing in the jungle (yeh right!) and that zoos pay as much as $5000 for baby gorillas, and that there were fewer than 60 in the United States. Noel was being raised by Mrs. Emy Cordier, the wife of the animal collector in Utu, Belgian-Congo. The article also mentions "Toto", described as a "circus gorilla", (Mrs. Gargantua from Cuba?) who was acquired by another animal collector in central Africa in the 1930s, whose wife enlisted the services of a native wet nurse for her. I don't think the author realizes that that practice resulted in many baby gorilla deaths. Human milk is not recommended for baby gorillas. There's a picture of a family group up a tree. The tree was cut down and the gorillas caught in nets for the IRSAC. The article mentions "Mbongo", who died in the San Diego Zoo in 1941, and talks about "Gargantua". There's a color photograph of a very strange looking gorilla, with long light brown hair. The article states that at one point 32 races of gorilla were described. I wonder if that includes Pygmy gorillas. I'm almost out of time. I better send this before I get cut off. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: The article says that Leopold, former King of the Belgians, was the chairman of IRSAC and a frequent visitor at Lwiro. He was a lifelong student of natural history, who took part in expeditions to Indonesia and Central America. The article sates that it was not until 1847 that the first scientific description of gorillas appeared after American missionaries acquired skulls in Gabon. The gorillas in the article are described as "Gorilla gorilla beringei", and as "mountain gorillas", and it says that the Lowland gorilla, "Gorilla gorilla gorilla", is larger. These gorillas are in Albert National Park which appears to include the Virunga Mountains on the Congo side of the border. It's right on the border with Uganda and Rwanda. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: I was also looking for this article at the public library: "Orphans of the Wild" by Maj. Bruce G. Kincloch, M.C., in the Nov. 1962 issue of National Geographic, about a wild animal orphanage in Uganda. It was the Entebbe Animal Refuge. Locals called it "the Zoo". They had a baby mountain gorilla in 1962 named "Reuben", who was sold to the London Zoological Society, with his chimpanzee companion, for $6000. Reuben looked every inch a mountain gorilla, not like those strange looking, mystery gorillas I was telling you about before. The official story was that "Reuben" was found beside a dead male in the Virunga Mountains, "abandoned and left to die", by his troop !!! I don't believe any of that. The chimp was named "Cleo". I'm about to get cut off. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

PS: The article mentions another article by Paul A. Zahl, about the remote Ruwenzori region, titled "Africa's Mountains of the Moon". published in March 1962. It's probably in this volume. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: This volume also happens to contain the Oct. 1962 issue of National Geographic, which has this article: "Wintering on the Roof of the World", by Barry C. Bishop. It's about an expedition to Nepal with the director of the Lincoln Park Zoo, R. Marlin Perkins, who is pictured wearing a supposed yeti scalp. He's grinning like he's really having fun, and he has a snow white beard. There's another picture of him not smiling, and looking very serious. The caption reads: "Yeti tracking party buys the hide of an "Abominable Snowman", actually that of a rare Tibetan blue bear. R. Marlin Perkins, Director of Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, examines the pelt. New Zealander Peter D. Mulgrew (rear) later collapsed on Makalu (page 544)." On the next page it says: " * Mr. Perkins has since accepted an appointment as Director of the St. Louis Zoo." (and the rest is history, I guess?) I was trying to find information on the internet, from the rhinoceros studbook, concerning "Lucy" the white rhino, who lived at the US NZP, and was a baby from Uganda in 1957. Lucy was named for William M. Mann's wife. I couldn't find anything. I really have to go. Sincerely Paul

Willard said...

'Colonel' goes by the name 'Kisoro' and is indeed #184 in the Studbook. Only the Official Studbook calls him 'Colonel', everyone else knew him as 'Kisoro'.

Dates:
AFRICAN ~1961 Capture
CHICAGOLP 2 Jun 1964 325 Transfer
BEKESBRNE 17 Oct 1973 H73000 Loan to
DENVER 5 Oct 1983 06688 Loan to
DENVER 24 Sep 1986 Death