Newquay Zoo 1974 and 2016



Bartlett Newsletter 2016 NZ.jpgOn the front cover of this month’s edition of Bartlett Society Newsletter No. 145 May 2016 is a fine  photograph from our archive collection of the Penguin Pool c. mid 1970s.

Meerkats now roam here, the Humboldt penguins have moved round the corner to the old Sealion Pool.

Reference is made in an article by Russell Tofts to Newquay Zoo’s entry in Wildlife ’74-76: An illustrated reference guide to Zoos, Wildlife Parks, Bird Gardens and Aquariums. This guide was  compiled by K. F. Robins and M. A. Radford and published by Burnham Interzoo Publications Ltd., 1974.

This gives a fairly good picture of what was here in 1974 at Newquay Zoo.

Newquay Zoo was established in 1969 by Newquay District Council and is based upon an open plan design which has been beautifully landscaped. Wide roads divide the Zoo as follows: 7 paddocks which accommodate Red Deer, Formosan Deer, Wallabies, Camels, Llama, Shetland Ponies and large walking birds, Cranes, Cassowaries and Rheas.

Artistically placed between these paddocks are the following: Large Walk Through Aviary, Chough Aviary, Sealion Pool, Penguin Pool, Lion and Puma enclosures, Bear Pit, Pets Corner, Tropical House, Monkey Walk and four lakes containing Pelicans, Flamingos and assorted Waterfowl.

Size: 8 and a half acres.

Russell Tofts, chairman of the Bartlett Society wrote an interesting account of the ‘BS’ members’ visit / tour to the zoo on April 17 2016 but also his memories of visiting Newquay Zoo as a child c. summer 1974.

NZ lion c 1974
Press photograph, probably of Charlie our first male African lion, supplied to several publications including Wildlife 1974-76  (Newquay Zoo collection)


The illustration to this 1974 guide was an African lion photograph (also found in our press cutting archive), peering out of its den entrance in the ‘old’ Lion House, where Harry our elderly male  Fossa now lives.

A few Bartlett Society members outside the old Lion House on our April 17 2016 tour of Newquay Zoo. Russell Tofts is third left, I’m first left with a copy of Bartlett Society founder the late Clinton Keeling’s Mammalian Hybrids book (edited by Russell, 2016).


Russell  in his article  included his carefully hole punched, filed  and treasured memento of that trip, a Himalayan Bear and Chinese Leopard postcard of Newquay Zoo. Interestingly he mentions the high price of postcards then and the absence of a guidebook.

NZ Chinese leopard record card 1969
Sparse entries on the surviving Chinese Leopard record card (Newquay Zoo archive).  4 pumas from Ravensden replaced these on the 18th August 1973.

The last Chinese Leopard left our collection c. August 1973  (in exchange for 4 Pumas?) whilst Himalayan bears remained until c. 1993 /4.

We will shortly be posting an interesting story about the unusual origin of some of our bears,  as well as a 1969 and 1983 edition of our guidebook kindly loaned by John Adams, another member of the Bartlett Society.

NZ postcard russell tofts
Russell Tofts’ treasured hole punched and filed away postcard of Newquay Zoo, summer 1974 (courtesy of Russell Tofts)

Posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo History blog, Newquay Zoo 24 May 2016.



Author: worldwarzoogardener1939

World war zoo gardener and zoo educator at Newquay Zoo Cornwall UK

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