History of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa:
1. The Founding:
In October 1899, dr. Jan Willem Boudewyn Gunning, the then director of the state museum, of the Transvaal Republic moved a collection of animals from the museum's back yard to the farm "Rus in Urbe". The animals were kept in the museum's backyard ostensible for taxidermal purposes, although Dr Gunning had other plans in mind...
In 1895, the Transvaal Republican Government bought the farm " Rus In Urbe" with the aim of establishing a zoo. However after the Jameson raid late in 1895, this plan was abandoned and the farm was converted into a hostel for young men. When the Anglo- Boer War broke out in October 1899, the young men left for the war and Dr Gunning saw his chance. On his instigation, the residents living in the areas surrounding the State museum, complained to the authorities about the noise and odours eminating from the animals. As a result, Dr Gunning obtained permission to transfer the animals between the 18th and the 21st of October 1899 to "Rus in Urbe" on the banks of the Apiesriver and the present state of the Zoo.
The Zoo's animal collection started with the following 16 mammal species :
A South Afrivan hedgehog, An afrivan civit
A chacma baboon A greyhound dog
A yellow baboon A large spotted genet
A Senegal bushbaby A black-backed jackal
A vervet monkey A yellow mongoose
Woodland dormouse A Burchell's zebra
A siamese cat A black wildebeest
2. The infant: (The first few years)
1902 Building of a lion house
1907 Camp for buffalo and zebra
There is also some interesting references to deaths in the Zoo. An example is an incident that occurred in 1907, when a swarm of bees invaded the Zoo killing several animals. Amongst those animals killed was a leopard, a mongoose lemur and six ring tailed lemurs.
|Did you know?
The oldest Zoo in the world dates back to the eighteen Century - Schonbrunn Zoo, Vienna?
|Did you know?
The National Zoological gardens of South Africa is celebrating its centenary in 1999?