Animals and their People at Bristol’s Historic Zoo

By Andy Flack

Issue No.2 (New Series) 2019 Page 50-55

The nineteenth century saw the emergence of zoological gardens around Britain and Europe. Bristol Zoo, formerly Clifton Zoo was the fifth oldest surviving zoo in the world and the oldest outside a capital city. The Zoo became a leisure hotspot for families in the South West of England and had over a million visitors in the early 1960s. However, by the end of the decade, public opinion on zoos had shifted. Holding animals in captivity for public display was perceived to be cruel, resulting in a decline in visitor numbers. Bristol Zoo subsequently reinvented its image. Flack’s article focuses on the changing image of Bristol Zoo, notable animals, and its relationship with the city. 

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