Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ghost Zoo--Manito Park Spokane, Wash.

The grand entrance to Manito Park was taken away in 1909. It was originally an arch that had colored ivy trained into the words “SEE SPOKANE SHINE.”


Manito Park had many fun attractions such as the zoo, the peanut shack (park bench café), Duncan gardens, Gaiser conservatory, duck pond, playground, and owl castle. The zoo took up one third of Manito’s 80 acres. The zoo was the main attraction. The bears were the most popular of what the zoo had to offer. Manito’s zoo contained many animals such as ostriches, kangaroos, buffalo, elk, deer, muskrat, beaver, monkeys, polar, black and grizzly bears. There were various birds and waterfowl such as ducks and geese.

One of the things that many people believed led to the closing of the zoo was when a little girl was feeding one of the polar bears. The bear that took the food accidentally drew blood. The other bear was attracted to the blood. It came in and bit the girl’s arm. The workers were so terrified that in an effort to pull the girl away, her arm got ripped right off. The girl claimed that it was her fault and that the bear should be left alone. The zoo stayed open for about another 8 years for a total of about 3 decades. It had to close when the Great Depression set in because they didn't have enough money to feed the animals.

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