Duthie Park Zoo , Polmuir Road , Aberdeen (approx 1904-1907) ….. Duthie Park was a 44 Acre Parcel of Land donated to Aberdeen Town Council by Lady Elizabeth Duthie back in 1881.
As of 1904 there was a small Zoological collection in the grounds run by the then Park Superintendent Mr P Harper … There were Monkeys , Peacocks , Guinea Fowl , Cavies and Artic Fox.
In January 1905 a “Cat Face” Monkey was offered and accepted by the Park Superintendent
In June 1905 a discussion took place between the Links and Park Sub Committee of the Aberdeen Town Council about getting new Zoological Buildings for the Park ie a Monkey House , run for the Foxes and Proper cages for the Birds .. The site was to be built between the ponds and the Superintendents house in the park .
In August 1905 4 South American and 2 other Monkeys were presented to Mr Harper and placed in the Monkey House.
In January 1906 the Committee met to discuss the projected costs of £750 to build the required housing .
By February 1906 A further meeting for the proposed Zoological Collection at which it was discussed the £750 required for buildings and a Seal Pond . There were 70 Australian Birds also ready to move in and it was indicated that an Aquarium , a new Monkey House and a Cockatoo Aviary would be required … The response was that it was pretty much laughed out of the meeting as £750 was never going to be enough as a Keeper would be required and other expenses incurred … Also there was a concern as to how to get Salt water to the site for a Seal Pond and Aquarium … The Meeting was convened for a later date.
On June 5th 1906 it was announced that the proposals should be shelved and the existing exhibits should not be replaced and when they died that would be the end of the Collection.
Strangely on the very next day it was announced that the Buildings would go ahead on the Northernside of the Park next to Deeside Railway , There would be a Brick Block Building with Annexe to either side .. Divided into Lairs and Heated Chambers … A Monkey House of 20 x 12 feet and an Aviary . The Lairs were to be 6 x 5’6 feet inside the building and the runs to be 10 x 6 feet outside. The new projected costs were £350 ..
On the 19th June 1906 38 Residents of Polmuir Road and Murray Terrace signed a protest against the Zoo stating that Rats would be prevalent in the area.
27th June 1906 it was announced that the objectors would be met to discuss the matter.
7th August 1906 a letter was sent to the objectors stating that the Zoological proposal will proceed.
12th October 1906 a meeting was held about the building of the new Animal enclosures to review the tenders received and the mattter was deferred further.
May 1907 at a meeting it was recommended that the Duthie Park Zoo Animals be offered on loan to a Mr John Sinclair of the Sea Beach Zoo (a Zoo I will write about also) .. The Collection in Duthie Park was a source of great trouble and annoyance to the Links and Parks Committee for a long while. The Aberdeen Town Council had refused to spend money on making the Animal Housing better especially the Monkey House … The place was swarming in Rats .. The Collection was growing due to unwanted donations of Animals to the Park and people were merely dumping their unwantied Animals upon them . A Councillor stated that he had observed the site and the Animals and during a 5 minute period at least 302 visitors came to see the Animals … However , the SPCA were considering whether to take action against the Town Council due to the shoddy way in which the Animals were kept … Mr Sinclair of Sea Beach Zoo stated that he would take only the healthy Animals.
By June 1907 all of the Animals had been removed…
Image shows Duthie Park as it was in 1901
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