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> Time To Bring Back Glasgow Zoo?, Do we need an animal attraction?
Glasgow Zoo
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GG
post 5th Mar 2009, 11:01pm
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Zoos in Scotland have been enjoying a visitor renaissance over the last year, at a time when other visitor attractions have experienced sharp declines in the numbers of visitors. On the east coast, visitors to Edinburgh Zoo rose by 10%, to 650,000. While the Highland Wildlife Park in Inverness-shire attracted an increase of 23%, jumping to 80,000 visitors during 2008.

Glasgow, of course, currently has no zoo: the old zoo at Calderpark closed in September 2003 after falling into debt as a result of removal of public funding for the attraction. The zoo, which opened its gates to the public in 1947, had tried to sell of surplus land in order to continue in some form, however, time ultimately ran out for bosses at Calderpark when planning permission for the land was delayed by Glasgow City Council.

At the time of the zoo's closure, Roger Edwards, chief executive of Glasgow Zoo, thought that the closure of the zoo would be a big loss to the city. He said:
QUOTE
"It may be that, in the political and economic environment that is today's Glasgow, charitable operations cannot succeed, in which case local authority control could be the only way to run such an educational amenity.

There is not a shadow of doubt that an amenity in which the city's children and adults can learn more about animals is needed now more than ever before.

The loss of such an amenity will make Glasgow the poorer - in terms of education, a resource for people seeking advice on animal matters, an amenity for visitors to the city, and the contribution Glasgow can make to international conservation."

However, given that zoos nationally are currently enjoying impressive increases in visitor numbers, and considering that Glasgow as a tourist attraction could benefit from the publicity generated, do you think that it is time to bring back Glasgow Zoo?

Do you have a memories of going to the zoo as a child? Do you think children of today would benefit from a new Glasgow Zoo?

Attached Image
Peter the Penguin entertains children at the zoo in the 1950s.

GG.


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jaybee
post 5th Mar 2009, 11:26pm
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I loved going to Calder Park Zoo, I am sitting here remembering all the lovely days out we kids had there. We also loved going through to the Edinburgh Zoo, that was a special day because we were able to travel outside Glasgow to Edinburgh. Oh yes please, bring a zoo back to Glasgow. It is a great education for young ones to see the animals, not in their own habitat unfortunately. I remember someone throwing gum to the monkeys and that was cruel, it stuck on the monkey's coat and he was having a heck of a time getting it off. Funny what sticks in a kids mind.
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Luceo
post 5th Mar 2009, 11:53pm
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While I share Jaybee's happy memories of visiting Calderpark Zoo in my childhood, I am moved to remark that I was glad to see the zoo closed. In its later years the zoo was poorly run, for whatever reason, and the conditions in which many of the animals were kept raised in my mind the many ethical questions regarding the keeping of animals in captivity. Need I remind anyone who remembers Calderpark of the conditions in which the polar bear (Bruin?) was kept?

Certainly, there is a place for zoos as educational establishments, as places of scientific research and as places where endangered species can be protected but I believe that as mere visitor attractions we need to be very careful how we balance the needs of animals against our own needs.

I feel very strongly that zoos should not be places of entertainment and I think that given the relatively small population of our country, one major zoo meets our needs and any investment in development of zoos would be better made in the further development of Edinburgh Zoo.

Luceo


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TeeHeeHee
post 6th Mar 2009, 12:24am
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I enjoyed many visits to Calderpark Zoo as a child, also in my youth.When I brought my own children up from Lincolnshire on holiday Calderpark was always on the itinerary. I was surprised to learn here, and now, of the closure and would naturally wish to have it re-opened...
But the question of re-opening raises in itself other questions viz a viz :
Would the old site still be available or would a new site have to be aquired ?
Where were the animals on inventory re-located ?
Would a new inventory of stock have to be aquired ?
Would redundant personnel be recalled or would new manpower require to be trained up to look after the animals in the Zoo's care ?
Would Public Funding be made available again or would sponsorship schemes be created ?

Perhaps schools could be encouraged to adopt an armadillo or foster a flamingo.
Perhaps "Fosters" could be awarded prime advertisement sites.


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stuarty
post 6th Mar 2009, 02:40am
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I remember my da taking me to a zoo but a dont know if it was cauldepark and sombody had thrown a can of juice into the enclosure and the polar bear swallowed it and it got stuck in its throat you could see the shape of it a was crying saying to my daddy it will die help it but my da said the zoo keeper will need to help but it was on my mind for months as a am an animal lover and this animal was so poorly sad.gif sad.gif


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tamhickey
post 6th Mar 2009, 03:29am
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I think the main question has to be, not would Glasgow and its citizens benefit from this, but would the animals? I personally believe wild animals should be left in the wild unless their numbers are dwindling so alarmingly that human intervention is the only way we can protect a species. Zoos generally, are an anachronism in this day and age. In the Victorian age and into the 20th Century they were perhaps the only way these animals could be seen, researched and understood by mankind. These days we have TV nature documentaries, DVD's, the Internet and a wide range of books to choose from. Now, I'm not advocating that we should close all zoos for that would be impractical not least to the animals born in captivity, simply suggesting that no more are needed.
There's something deeply troubling about the thought that an Orang - Utan for example (though it could be any animal) has huge visitor numbers in the summer yet has to endure a lonely existence when Winter approaches.
I have to agree with Luceo about the troubling state of Calderpark prior to its closure. It was a midden, pure and simple.
As I say, this should be looked at from the perspective of how well it would serve the animals. We humans should come well down the (woodpecker) pecking order!
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Elma
post 6th Mar 2009, 04:09am
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I remember well going to Calderpark Zoo. In fact my dad, mum and I were there on the day that it opened, I was 12 and was very excited to be there. I don't remember much about the animals there except the big tiger. It is all very well to say that we can see these animals on TV or film but we don't get the impact of size, etc. if we don't see them 'in the flesh.'

I have been to the Vancouver Aquarium many times and have formed a life-long love affair with the orcas and belugas which I wouldn't have had I not seen them there. (sorry that bit is off-topic but I couldn't resist tongue.gif )
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TeeHeeHee
post 6th Mar 2009, 08:29am
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In Basel, Switzerland, I found nothing sadder than the great ape which sat behind a massive glass wall with it's back toward the onlookers. It looked exactly how I would have felt. A tiger with an open air compound, no bigger than my living room, with a solitary tree for company. And yes, the polar bear and the elephants.
Seems today to be all somehow wrong to be exhibiting animals whose natural habitats we continually erode, some how immoral.
If we had the space, and the money, would we exhibit the blue whale for example in a tank big enough for him to turn a few tricks?


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drew1952
post 6th Mar 2009, 01:17pm
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This is a hot one again, if Calderpark was to re-open in it's old guise then it is obviously a big NO NO, on the other hand if it was to re-open as a proper hive of conservation then, mebe, the place when it closed was nothing but a pure dump and thank god it was closed.
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glasgow lass
post 6th Mar 2009, 01:33pm
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I think the zoo should be brought back with the proper staff to care for it it could be a great hit with families, what kid wont love a day at the zoo! spent some fun times there myself as a child, we would get all dressed up to spend a day at the zoo, it was a real treat, the best part was the fact that it was a family outing, cant remember seeing any animals but I still remember everyone who was with me that day, the last time that I was there was when i was seventeen,,, no not with my mother!, we were jumping around with the arangatangs.LOL.
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TeeHeeHee
post 6th Mar 2009, 02:55pm
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No offence Glasgow Lass, but that makes it all just seem that the anlmals were penned up purely for our entertainment, and later we can't remember the animals but the entertainment.
I loved the Zoo as a kid, But really like DREW'52 meant, maybe it could be acceptable. The gorrila in Basel did it for me. The animal was DEPRESSED and the visitors were annoyed that it wouldn't turn around for a photo op. They were slapping the glass to attract it and it only turned further away....in it's limited space.
Put yourself in that position, day in, day out.........no , or little privacy, no chance to go into your wee room due to being locked out for the purpose of day trippers...356 days a year.


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glasgow lass
post 6th Mar 2009, 05:47pm
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No offence taken Tee , gone are my childish ways though still feel that a day at the zoo is wonderful for kids of all ages, its thrilling to see exotic animals up close especially the big and impressive species. Thats what is so great about the zoo, gives people a chance to connect and allows them to see what would otherwise be unavailable to them. Some say that we humans are destroying the earth,, so lets conserve our wildlife so they don't disappear from earth completely having more zoos will be a step in the right direction.
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Luceo
post 6th Mar 2009, 08:13pm
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I have visited Gerald Durrell's zoo in Jersey and I think that establishment exemplifies how animals can be humanely kept in captivity. The animals there certainly seemed well looked after and the zoo enjoys a world wide reputation for its conservation work and the research that it conducts.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are only forty miles or so apart so a visit to Edinburgh Zoo at Corstorphine is not really a huge trek. Given the standard of Edinburgh Zoo I think it is difficult to justify a second zoo in Scotland.

Luceo


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*Lynne Kumar*
post 7th Mar 2009, 04:25am
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Having a zoo would bring in money for the surrounding businesses. Whether like Washington DC Zoo it would be free to enter. Then you have toy stores with stuffed animals that look like the animals in the zoo. There are also many eaterys and cafes with plenty of food to feed the whole family. Then in Baltimore you have a fee to enter and the money goes to maintain the facility. Both are beautiful Zoos with many animals. We have just had a baby gorilla. A little girl. No name yet. There will be a place soon to send and suggest a name for the baby gorilla. A Zoo is a great place for all family members if taken care of properly. Lynne
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Agnes & Robert
post 7th Mar 2009, 05:23pm
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QUOTE (Lynne Kumar @ 7th Mar 2009, 04:12am) *
Having a zoo would bring in money for the surrounding businesses. Whether like Washington DC Zoo it would be free to enter. Then you have toy stores with stuffed animals that look like the animals in the zoo. There are also many eaterys and cafes with plenty of food to feed the whole family. Then in Baltimore you have a fee to enter and the money goes to maintain the facility. Both are beautiful Zoos with many animals. We have just had a baby gorilla. A little girl. No name yet. There will be a place soon to send and suggest a name for the baby gorilla. A Zoo is a great place for all family members if taken care of properly. Lynne
Not a bad idea Lynne, but do you really want to see Animals locked up in a cage
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