There must be few sets of these Newquay Zoo Pocket Pictures from 2001 remaining intact.
Produced by our enterprising zoo photographer and Marketing Manager in 2001, Michelle Turton, these were sold in the zoo shop.
The fact that my complete series one set includes a free ‘Special’ Ronnie and Lizzie the Lions card marked in red ‘this card only available with the full set’ suggests that Michelle’s attractive mini-photograph cards might have been on sale individually too in our zoo shop.
The cards as you can see were highly educational as well as highly collectable with a few animal facts on the back.
A wide range of species were featured in Set One of 18 cards (plus Special).
I photographed these cards in low light to prevent glare from the shiny cards and their protective plastic sleeves. This makes them a little fuzzy, whilst respecting the copyright of Michelle Turton’s original pictures.
The cards show the changing species at Newquay Zoo since 2001.
It is interesting to look at the cards close up. Snowy Owls or Hedwigs were highly popular in 2001, several books into the Harry Potter series (which began around 1997).
Problems with pet reptile keeping or unwanted pet reptiles at this time (c. 2001) are reflected in the message on the back of the Iguana. Both these common reptile pets grow quite large, become strong and even grumpy and so were then frequently offered to Newquay Zoo by their despairing or even desperate owners.
Our Tropical House used to be full of Common Green Iguanas. Only one of those, no doubt called Iggy, was friendly and chilled out enough to use for animal encounters, if you wore a protective leather jacket to protect your skin from claws. Responsible reptile pet ownership or reasons for not having one was a frequent theme of our reptile based talks, events and animal encounters between 1996 and 2001.
In 1996 we started preparing our Cotton Top Tamarin small monkeys for release from the Tropical House out to free range in the trees along the Maze Road and Tarzan Trail. They remained free-roaming like this for several years, presumably at least until about 2001, until several years of births later, they were becoming increasingly tame in the trees and venturing down to inspect visitors on the ground. Unfortunately some naughty visitors kept trying to photograph them up close with a bit of food bribery. Later I think they might have moved onto one of our tamarin islands.
The Puma card also mentions ‘The Beast’ stories that were prevalent at the time circa 2001. Two pumas Tina and Shane arrived from Haigh mini zoo which closed somewhere around 1993-96, to live in the old Lion House whilst we fundraised to build the ‘Puma House’, where our lovely Carpathian Lynx now live. The last of these now elderly Pumas died in the mid 2000s.
Many were the tales or sightings of exotic big and small cat species roaming the Cornish and British countryside. Almost forty years on from the Dangerous Wild Animals act of 1976/77, which allegedly saw many exotic big cat pets released into the wilds of Britain, people telling me of these sightings after a big cat talk here at Newquay Zoo is quite unusual and rare occurrence now.
Our Newquay raccoon story was told in an earlier blogpost https://newquayzoohistory.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/where-raccoons-once-roamed-in-newquay-zoo/
The ‘Special’ Series One card in 2001 tells a little bit of our Lion Story here at Newquay Zoo – Ronnie and Lizzy – our lions being a subject surely worth a future blogpost in itself.
Sadly I don’t think there was a Series Two of the Newquay Zoo Pocket Pictures. If there was, they sold out in our zoo shop before I could buy them.
Many thanks to Michelle Turton for permission to show these images – a tiny snapshot of Newquay Zoo 2001 – again.
Blogposted in July 2017 by Mark Norris for the newquayzoohistoryblog.wordpress.com – sharing tasty nuggets and tiny morsels of Newquay Zoo history as we head toward our 50th Anniversary in May 2019.
Got something interesting to share or celebrate about a past visit to Newquay Zoo since 1969? Contact Mark Norris via the Comments page or via the http://www.newquayzoo.org.uk website.