Mike Thomas who ran the zoo from 1993-2003 wrote this Christmas Editorial on Page 1 and 2, about what we could achieve to rebuild and improve the zoo when “Our visitors became friends …”
As the original newsletters were produced in black and white, I have added some linked colour pictures of the subjects covered or the same zoo areas now in 2018.
As Mike Thomas pointed out, “As you know we are called Animal World , but I tend to favour [the word] zoo – after all that’s what it is!” By my first Paw Prints issue as editor, issue 3 in Summer 1996, the name had changed back to Newquay Zoo.
Chunky our last elderly Himalayan Black Bear was euthanased a year before due to ill health at Christmas 1994, leading to the original 1969 Bear Pit being redeveloped for new rare Sulawesi Macaque monkeys (“Black Apes”) throughout 1995 – see articles on page 8 and 9.
Keeper Mark Tomaszewski (“Cheski”) still works part time at the zoo, having joined the Council Run zoo in 1982/3, our longest continuous serving member of staff.
The Newquay Zoo Wildlife Rescue Hospital (closed c. 2003) was in full winter operation with rescued hedgehogs surfacing too early from or failing to fatten up for Hibernation. Claire Roper wrote about or contributed to three pieces on Hedgehogs on pages 3, 4 and 10.
1990 was International Year of the Rainforest, so rainforest conservation was (and remains) an important and popular topic for school visits. My predecessor Jane Angwin organised a school workshop visit to Newquay Zoo over three days in 1995 by the Green Light Trust. The Green Light Trust is still going strong, working on many UK forest and overseas conservation and education projects. http://www.greenlighttrust.org/about-us
Overheard in the shop at the end of the day in 1995 as Penguin Feeding time was announced:
“Doris, do you want to see the penguins being fed?”
“No Ethel, it’s only fish!”
Courtney Eustice was a truly dreckly Cornish zoo character, sadly missed, who is worthy of a whole blog post of his own sometime soon. No hurry, my lovers!
His funeral was a sad day for the Zoo and he is buried in St Keverne Churchyard on the Lizard, in case you are ever passing. This little plaque at Newquay Zoo is now relocated, down by the Dragon Maze.
Page 7 features a typically busy and varied day in the working life of Head Keeper and Site Operations Manager Peter Trebilcock, who worked as a keeper from 1977 to about late 2000.
Much of what I learnt about working with visitors from Pete Trebilcock is embodied in this “typical day” article. Note the 9.30 a.m. opening in 1995 – a bit early?
Curator Jon Blount redesigned the Bear Pit into the Black Macaque enclosure in 1995. He wrote this two page article on its progress, just as some of the new female macaques on breeding loan were due to arrive from Jersey Zoo.
Jon wrote this Black Macaque article partly to counter the many criticisms of old-fashioned zoos that were around at the time. Only three years previously, c. 1992, even London Zoo had been facing down demands for closure, events filmed at the time by a fly-on-the-wall documentary team.
This macaque breeding programme is still going well (2018) and benefits from an in-situ overseas conservation education and research programme for these now Critically Endangered monkeys from Sulawesi in Indonesia. http://www.wwct.org.uk/conservation-research/sulawesi/macaques
Claire Roper, senior keeper in charge of the Wildlife Hospital is pictured here in colour from our 1996 Guidebook working with our then Zoo Vet Mike King.
We kept some newsletter pages blank until the last moment, ready for special stop press news for our adopters and members to read about new births, etc. such as our recently arrived Asian Otters and Cotton-topped Tamarins. This Christmas baby was probably an unusually pale grey baby Asian otter called Cinnamon – will have to check the roecrds on this.
The forerunner of the Amazon Wishlist for Newquay Zoo, page 12 is an appeal for spare equipment to carry on our conservation, rescue and incubation work.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Newquay Zoo in 1995 and how, whilst many things change, it continues to do important conservation and education work in 2018 with your help.
Shared as part of NZ50 https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/50thanniversary
Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo Archive, Newquay Zoo, August 2018.