Zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow;
Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow, we can stay all day.
I have no pictures in my family albums to rival the one in this week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt. My Mum, remembers having a ride on an elephant a Regent’s Park Zoo in the 1920s, though we have no pictorial record sadly. Of course we have been to zoos, wildlife and safari parks, bird gardens and rare breeds farms over the years, but not one elephant picture. Instead, I offer a few souvenir photographs from some of those visits.
The first two are of me at Dudley Zoo in 1956. I wonder why I took my little suitcase along. I hope it wasn’t with the intention of taking something cuddly home with me. I seem to be more interested in the gentler, domesticated animals than in elephants and tigers. Notice the little boy in the first picture - what was he up to?
I was obviously on friendly terms with the rabbit, and in 1979 my daughter demonstrated the same fascination for them, though I think this was probably in a friend’s garden.
In 1990 we had acquired a budgie as a family pet and became somewhat bird crazy. Off we went for a visit to Merley Bird Gardens in Dorset. Here we met Brolly, who was an Umbrella Cockatoo. None of us can remember which TV show Brolly had been in, but it looks as though the sign is mentioning this. My daughter kept a summer scrapbook and wrote that there were lots of birds from doves to penguins and a free flying parrot, but there was no mention of Brolly. We all remember that the sign said not to put your finger in the cage. To an eleven year old boy that is in invitation to do so, with the inevitable consequences - one sore finger! He learned the hard way to always obey the signs. Yes, and that it was better to stick with those bunnies!
Having said there were no baby elephants in the our albums, I remembered that there were some baby elephant seals! These picture are of my husband’s tour of duty with the RAF in the Falkland Islands in 1986-7.
Here’s my husband and friends being brave on Sea Lion Island. These are the young elephant seals.In the picture below his colleague risked going a little closer to a female and got snarled at.
And the photo below, demonstrates why you would be foolish to get too close to the bull elephant seal. This one was taken in 1955 on Macquarie Island. If there was a sign saying: ‘Beware of the Bull’ I don’t think you’d be tempted to try and test it.
I’ve come full circle with my sepia pictures this week because the above image comes from the State Library of New South Wales Collection via flickr creative commons, as did this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt. From baby elephants to daddy elephant seals.
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