Friday, July 26, 2013

Beaumaris zoo

Tasmanian socialite Mary Grant Roberts began a menagerie at her home which she opened to the public in 1895. She operated the "Beaumaris Zoo" – at which she bred Tasmanian devils and ignited scientific interest in native species – until she died in 1921. The 54 animals and 100 birds then passed into the hands of the Hobart City Council, which hired a curator and built a new facility for them. The Hobart Zoo, as it then became known, is most famous as the location of the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity, which died on September 7, 1937. The zoo closed that year, due to financial constraints. Footage of the extinct thylacine exists (WATCH IT HERE) – but so does a human wormhole. At the age of 90, Will Cramp describes feeding that last remaining Tasmanian tiger every Sunday from the age of 7 until the zoo's closure 6 years later. He remembers the animal's doglike appearance and shy demeanor, and describes its remarkable gaping mouth and eerie yodeling cry (LISTEN HERE).

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