This establishment has also been listed as Birmingham and Midlands Zoological Gardens and St Helena Pleasure Gardens …… A Mr Morris Roberts who had been a Champion Lightweight Boxer (Pugilist as it was known then ) purchased Sherbourne Hotel in aproximately 1871 ….. Mr Roberts had been preparing to open a Zoological Gardens within the grounds and By May 1873 the gardens although not quite ready were unofficially opened to the public with a collection of a Pair of Lions , A pair of Leopards , Hyena , A Black Bear , Monkeys , Peacock , Peahen and Pheasants…It officially opened in June 1873 …. Also in June 1873 Mr Roberts was summonsed to court by a John Noble who was a Zookeeper for a Months wages £5 and 12s … Mr Noble was a former Zoo keeper at London Zoo and had been sacked for asking for money from the public as he exited a Lions Cage….This was the second time he had been sacked , 1st time he was reinstated, as he had previously collected Leopards and had defrauded Mr Roberts out of 6d due to falsely claiming how much he had spent on his “digs” …. This case was dismissed ..
.In March 1875 there was an incident where a Zookeeper entered a Lion Cage and used a broom to antagonise the Lion … The Lion reacted and knocked the Keeper over and before the keeper knew it the Lion escaped into the Arena … The Public left pretty quick through the nearest exits leaving the zookeeper the only option open to him and that was to lock himself in the Lions cage … Eventually the Lion was recaptured.
In August 1875 a Lioness was purchased from a Mrs Maunders once the lioness had been transported back to the Zoological gardens it was noted that she had “damage” to her feet … A Zookeeper had to enter the Den to treat her .. One day as the Keeper entered the Den a Mastiff dog pushed into the Den and the Lioness attacked the dog … The dog managed to free itself and was sent reeling into the Zookeeper .. Fortunately Mr Roberts heard the commotion and passed in an iron bar to the Zookeeper who was able to fend off the Lioness and the Keeper was rescued …
In February 1876 a baby Elephant escaped and alarmed a man in Sherbourne Road at 6am … Mr Roberts appeared and led the Elephant back to the Zoological Gardens..
On the 4th April 1876 the whole of the Zoological Gardens collection was auctioned at the Sherbourne Hotel … Lions , Leopards , Bears , Elephant , Seagulls , Silver Pheasant , Peacocks , Eagles , Vultures and Owls … Present at the Auction were Mr Jamrach and Mr Cross both Animal dealers
The image is a random Lion image as I cannot find any images of the Proprietor or the Hotel or grounds
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