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Dark history


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Perth Zoo's Dark History












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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

log of paths, trails venues where we "step inside"  
connecting the images into a Virtual tour
Name & URLTheme / FeaturesDate yy.mm / comment
Queen St Jetty 25m jetty South Perth foreshore 2019.09.20 published 
Prionotes Path 0700m nature trail Kings Park  2019.09.16 mapped published in few days 
Poole Track 0820m Nature track in Kings Park 2019.09.16 mapped published in few days 
Western path 2300m nature trail Kings Park 2019.09.16 mapped published in few days 
Zamia cafe to Balga CP  1200m soft surface nature trail Kings park 2019.09.10 Virtual tour Published 
Magpie Path Kings Park 500m hard surface nature trail 2019.09.10 virtual tour published 
Jacksonia Path - Kings Park 1300m / soft surface nature trail 2019.09.09 virtual tour published 
Baird path - Kings Park 520m trail Kings park  2019.09.08 Virtual tour published 
The Narrows Bridge Major Bridge Perth to South Perth 2019.09.04 add pedestrian West side 
Showing 9 items from page Google SV - Step Inside log sorted by Date yy.mm / comment. View more »







Places visited


Event date / locationEvent typeTitle / summaryVenue / hostPublication link
2019.10.31 / Burswood / Belmont bike trail along the river lots of nature Bilya Kard Boodja Lookout fbk grp wa tourism 
2011.11.01 / Burswood Helicopter scenic tour at the Casino Corsaire at Burswood Helicopter Scenic Flights fbk grp wa tourism 
2019.11.10 / Perth river south Tour: floating Bar evenings  Floating Bar fbk grp wa tourism 
2019.11.10 / Kings Park walk the tower up and up for the view DNA Tower fbk grp wa tourism 
2019.11.10 / South Perth foreshore funcats boat hire get wet and adventure Funcats Watersports fbk grp wa tourism 
Showing 5 items from page Places visited sorted by edit time. View more »


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