Skegness Zoo , Butlins Amusement Park , Skegness , Lincolnshire (1933-1940)

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Billy Butlin had opened this Amusement Park approx 1929 / 1930 … He was looking to add attractions to his “Empire” and in June 1933 Skegness Zoo was opened at the Amusement Park …
By May 1937 2 Lion Cubs were born named George and Elizabeth at the Zoo
By December 1937 practically the entire Zoo from the Skegness and Bognor Zoos (run by Butlins) were crated up and removed to the Olympia London as a supplementary attraction to Bertram Mills Circus for the Winter season … This shows how large the Zoo at Skegness was crated and sent were … 5 Lions , 27 Parrots , 2 Cassowaries , 2 Leopards , A Black Panther , An Ocelot , 220 Monkeys , Hyenas , 7 Himalayan and Russian Bears , Raccoons , Pelicans , Kangaroos, Wallabies , Chimpanzee and Zebras …. Butlins Bognor Zoo animals were also all transferred …
By April 1938 another Lion Cub called Liz was born at the Zoo
By July 1940 an advert was placed by the Zoo to try and rehome “Nicholas”, the Polar Bear, as the Police had ordered his evacuation (due to the War) and Mr Butlin stated that he would pay for its keep … If there was no home found within a week Nicholas would be shot … Already the Zoo had to Euthanise 2 Lions , A Panther and Black Bears .. 4 Leopards had been sent to Chessington (although many of the Chessington Animals were transferred to Paignton during the war years ) … Dudley Zoo had offered to take in Nicholas but then they stated that they already had 2 Female Polar Bears and to take in Nicholas would lead to the certain death of him as they would tear him to pieces .. they stated that the Polar Bear would be safer amongst bombs than with the 2 female Polar Bears …. Fortunately Chester Zoo stepped in and Nicholas was saved … He left on 17th July 1940 …
By 24th July 1940 this Zoo was closed and this particular Butlins Zoo was no longer …
From what I understand there were a few animals kept at the Skegness Holiday Camp from 1946 but it was never on the scale of the Amusement Park Zoo .
Image is of Billy Butlin
For information on Zoos both existing and old ones join this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/671948229882510
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