Friday 12 November 2010

At the Zoo

London Zoo has a fine history of escaping animals. Here's one of my favourites, from 1908:

KANGAROO HUNTS IN LONDON.—During the unpacking of the Australian collection in the Zoological Gardens on Wednesday two incidents occurrred which varied the monotony of the proceedings and lent a little excitement to what would otherwise have been a commonplace piece of work. The keepers walked the kangaroos from their boxes in which they had made the pasaage to the cages in the new house at the west-end of the Prince's Ground. In "walking" a kangaroo it is usual to hold the animal by the back of the neck with the left hand and by the root of the tail with the right. Things were going on smoothly till one of the men went to shift a Woodward's kangaroo, when, by some means, the animal freed itself and went straight forward along the path. At the other end were some workmen, but these it evaded, and bounded down the slope, over the bridge, and out into the Outer Circle. Some people in a motor-car followed, but failed to come up with it before it turned into the park. The assistant superintendent and a staff of keepers started in pursuit, but were obliged to return without the kangaroo, though they sent off others to look for it. Eventually the animal was run to ground in the area of a house in Baker-street, where it was captured without difficulty and taken back to the gardens. Something similar occurred with one of the wallaby, which succeeded in freeing itself from the grip of the keeper who was taking it along the upper walk to the house. It went down the slope on to the towpath, but was headed back each way by the men sent down by the officer in charge. As they closed in round the fugitive it jumped into the canal and swam for the opposite side, whence it was frightened back by a boy. The keepers remained quiet till it attempted to land when it, was promptly seized, and transferred to one of the cages in the new block, whence escape will be impossible.

The Times, 1908

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see the animals fighting back! Good story.