Friday, August 27, 2010

Newell Park Zoo--1906 to 1912

Above is the bear den, all that is left of the short lived Newell Park Zoo. During the warm seasons, enormous blocks of ice were brought over from an icehouse in East Liverpool to keep the bears comfortable. During the winter months, the animals were moved by boxcar to the Highland Park Zoo in Pittsburgh—all but the deer which stayed in Newell.

The story below might explain why the zoo, which was operated by a manufacturer, with all good intentions, but not a lick, we have to assume, of captive animal husbandry knowledge, was only operated for 6 years. I suggest we be a bit more understanding of the current effort by the USDA to "validate" someones claims at being an animal expert. LOL

May 23, 1909, was to be the biggest day in the short history of the Newell Park Zoo. The zoo, located in Laurel Hollow in Newell, Hancock County, had opened for its fourth season the previous Sunday, attracting 2,000 people. Many more visitors were expected this Sunday — so many that the streetcar line put on extra cars to handle the huge crowd that was predicted. Sometime during the day one of the zoo's two polar bears was killed. Earlier one of the original bears had died and a new mate was procured for the living bear for opening day. Not knowing they had purchased a new bear of the same sex, they were quickly paired together in anticipation of the big Sunday crowd. Word of the battle spread fast enough, it was said, to draw a huge crowd of people, including an entire streetcar load from East Liverpool. Lacking any mechanism to break the bears apart, they had only to watch, as the fatal outcome unfolded.

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