Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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

Although Crandon Park Zoo's current "restoration", with talent provided by local artist's is a bit cheesy, it is still a far, far better fate then the one which befell the old facility's at Marineland Florida.

The history of Zoo Miami can be traced back to 1948, when 3 monkeys, a goat and 2 black bears were purchased for $270 from a small road show stranded near Miami. These 6 animals were the beginning of the Crandon Park Zoo on the island of Key Biscayne, just southeast off the coast from downtown Miami. The Crandon Park Zoo occupied 48 acres of the park. The first animals in the zoo, including some lions, an elephant and a rhinoceros, had been stranded when a circus went out of business in Miami. Some Galapagos tortoises, monkeys and pheasants were added from the Matheson plantation. By 1967 the Crandon Park Zoo had grown to over 1,200 animals, and was considered one of the top 25 zoos in the country. Other animals were added, including a white Bengal tiger in 1968. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy devastated the zoo and caused the death of 250 animals. After the hurricane there was talk of a new zoo for Dade county, but nothing was done until 11 December 1970, when Dade County officials applied for 600 acres of land in the Richmond Naval Air Station property. Construction began in 1975. The zoo opened in 1980 as Miami MetroZoo with a preview section of 12 exhibits and Asia, the first major exhibit, opened on 12 December 1981. A total of 38 exhibits, covering 200 acres, were open to the public at this time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Crandon Park Zoo had a director who had previously been the director of the Salt Lake City Zoo which had a liger named "Shasta" who set some sort of longevity record. Sincerely Paul