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Dark history

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Perth Zoo's Dark History


Murder, thieves and escapees

Oh, so you think the Zoo is all fluffy koalas and photogenic giraffes, do you? Planning on taking the kids for an outing during the school holidays? Well before you do, perhaps you can take a wander through the Zoo's slightly seamier side.

I'd like to see this guy try to sneak out large image

Over the years a number of Perth Zoo's inhabitants have run the gauntlet and made escape attempts – some more successful than others*. Animals which have made it to freedom – even temporarily – include a lemur, a quokka, a cockatoo and a bunch of snakes.

The quokka made a dash for it when his keeper was leaving the enclosure. The lemur was found waiting patiently in reception when the zoo opened the following morning. One of the Galapogos tortoises made a – very slow – dash for freedom, before he was caught and – slowly – taken home again. The cockatoo did a few bog-laps of Perth before deciding that life at the zoo was in fact a better option.

In 2009, one of the orang-utans broke free forcing a temporary evacuation of zoo visitors. Pulang used a rope to swing out of her enclosure and Keepers believe she had been working on her escape plan for weeks, proving yet again that animals are often smarter than humans, as is clearly obvious by the next section.

Despite the graffiti, I have always loved the bamboo at the zoo large image

Thieves and Idiots

Perhaps harking back to our convict heritage, a number of animals have been stolen over the years including two endangered radiated tortoises in 2011. Visitors have also been sprung collecting lizards, patting the Galapagos tortoises, and feeding lollies and chewing gum to the animals.

Don't pat the tortoise large image

Carnivore Capers

To keep our scaly, furry and feathered friends in their prime, it's estimated* that they consume almost 50,000 whole mammals every year (don't fret, it's mainly mice and rats). This is washed down with almost 2000 sheep hearts, over 13,000kg of horse (complete with skin and bones) and – what must be a delicacy considering its relatively scarcity – 72 cow hearts. Nummy.

Tiger tiger large image

Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh My!

In 1952 a 36 year old man was found dead, and terribly mauled next to one of the male lions at what was then called the South Perth Zoo. Ironically, it was the same enclosure (although a different lion) where a woman also met her death the year before. The man had scaled an 18 foot fence before dropping inside the lion's yard. Sadly, twenty years later a young man was mauled to death, this time by polar bears.

Murderer still on view

Simmo, our favourite crocodile, that massive hulking mass of teeth and attitude is actually an anti-social double-murderer*. Prior to being sent to Perth Zoo in 1998, Simmo had been living in a crocodile farm. He was paired with not one, but two female crocodiles, and killed them both before being sentenced to life in solitary. Some blokes are just better off alone.

The Times, They are a Changing
By now you're beginning to think this sounds like one of the Jurassic Park movies. But just in case you are reconsidering your family picnic to the zoo, fear not. Perth Zoo is a modern, safe, world-leading, educational and totally awesome day out.

Don't forget this grand old dame is 115 years old… and all ladies are entitled to a sordid past, or at least a few lapses of reason.

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Google SV - step Inside

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connecting the images into a Virtual tour
Name & URLTheme / FeaturesDate / comment
Whistlepipe Gully Loop Track 3500m track Kalamunda, waterfalls 2020.07.31 50% mapped 
Boodja Gnarning Walk in Kings Park 2km loop Indigenous trail Plants, glass bridge, waterfall 2020.07.12 drafted 3 tracks optional trails 
Art trail Claisebrook cove 3km trail - added 360 photos and some vid 2020.06 step inside links  
Virtual tour Heritage Sculpture trail trail 600m Burswood - park, lake, Icons - Family theme 2020.06 google mapped 
Loop CC Art trail East Perth 3km Trail Art walk 5km bike loop 2020.06 drafted 
Perth Quad bike - Pinjar Dirt tracks / trails - fast recording for google test 2020.06.14 recorded on the fly - it worked 
South Perth Bowling Club bowling club - 360 pics for google maps 2020.06.11 
Buryalup Park park, river, trails - add some footage to test 2020.06.04 
Jenalup Beach Beach, nature trail, cliffs 2020.05 virtual tour and google street view 
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2021.02 Rottnest Island Thrill ride: Jet Boat extreme fun Thrill boat ride fbk grp wa tourism - video 
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