#

1891—1900

# # #
# # #
# # #

The circular yard, with rockwork for Barbary sheep, was erected in 1891. This species is kept in greater numbers in Continental Gardens than in Regent's Park. It does well in confinement, and breeds freely, and a herd makes a good show. Of the same date is the kiosk hard by, for the sale of photographs of animals in the Gardens, serving also as the office where tickets for elephant and camel rides may be procured. This year witnessed a return to the old practice of keeping monkeys in the open. A cage was built at the east end of the monkey house for the Tcheli macaque, presented by Dr. Bushell, and the animal, a native of Northern China, did exceedingly well in these quarters.


In 1893 the stables at the west end of the Middle Garden, which served also for the reception of animals on arrival and departure, were rebuilt. By an arrangement with the Canal Company a new fence was erected along the south bank, and in return for a contribution of £100 the company made certain alterations and easements to suit the convenience of the Society.


Next year preparations were made for the new ostrich house by clearing away the sheds and enclosures south of the monkey house. The row of cages put up by the Garden staff outside the small cats' house for the more hardy small carnivora became notorious a few years later.

This house was stocked and opened in 1897; the total cost of the structure was about £3,400. In the southern half of the building are twelve compartments, the centre four being assigned to the ostriches, and those on each side to the rheas, cassowaries, and emeus. The northern half, with sixteen compartments, is used for cranes and storks, and on each side the compartments open into grassed enclosures. Formerly the more delicate of these birds were removed from their usual quarters during the winter, but in the new house they may be viewed all the year round.

The tortoise house, appropriately erected near the large reptile house, is of the same date. To the cost of the building the Hon. Walter Rothschild contributed £150. It was a work of some difficulty to transfer the large tortoises from the Middle Garden to their new house. The gigantic Daudin's tortoise was put into a sling that had been originally made for lifting a sick elephant. The margins were attached to poles, and it took a dozen men to effect the removal.

In 1898 the Fellows' Tea Pavilion was erected, facing the Lawn, and the llama house reconstructed on the site of the original cattle sheds; and at that time the old owls' cages of the same date at the back were done away with. The removal of the birds from the sheds at the west end of the Middle Garden allowed these to be taken down. It was then determined to utilise the ground for a new zebra house. For some years the old well sunk on the canal bank in 1834 had been useless owing to the penetration of sand into the bore, the clearing of which was found to be impracticable. This obliged the Society to obtain the whole of the water-supply from the West Middlesex Company at a heavy cost. Consequently the Council decided to sink a new bore and erect machinery for raising the water, which was done at a cost of about £1,300. A saving of £150 was effected in the expenditure for water supply the first year the well was used.

In March, 1899, the new zebra house was finished at a cost of about £1,100, and the animals put into the stalls, which open into one large paddock. In the last year of the century a second reservoir was constructed, and the pheasantry in the North Garden put up; but it was not opened till after the Easter holidays in 1901.

#

#Important additions were made to the Menagerie in this decade. In 1891 the first snow-leopard was acquired by purchase; unfortunately the animal, which is believed to have been obtained in Bhotan, lived but a short time. Nevertheless, it completed the series of the larger cats, all of which had now been exhibited in the collection. Among the new birds were Lhuys's Impeyan pheasant and the Tibet crossoptilon, or Hodgson's eared pheasant - in both cases the first examples received alive in Europe - the yellow-crowned penguin, and the spotted-billed pelican.

In October the "Queen's ostrich" was deposited by Her Majesty, to whom it had been presented by Mr. A. L. Jones, of Aigburth, who had sent out a collecting expedition to the basin of the Upper Niger. This was probably the largest ostrich ever shown at the Gardens. It was kept in the giraffe house, and measured 4 ft. 10 in. in height at the back, and about 4 ft. 3 in. in body-length.

The second snow-leopard - Moti, the Pearl - was purchased in the early part of this year. This had been a lady's pet from a cub, and was quite tame. It was kept in the lion house, but generally remained in the sleeping quarters at the back till nearly closing-time. The animal, which was a great favourite died in May, 1897.

Daisy, first described as a Cape giraffe, was purchased early in 1895, and is still living in the Gardens. It has since been determined that she belongs to the race which Mr. Lydekker has named Ward's giraffe, to commemorate the facts that Mr. Rowland Ward presented the mounted head and neck of a bull of the same race to the Natural History Museum, and was the first to call attention to the distinctness of the Somali giraffe. The Alexandra parrakeet and Forsten's lorikeet were exhibited for the first time; as was the frilled lizard, which, unfortunately, did not live long in captivity.

The second gorilla- Jenny - to come into the Society's possession was purchased in March, 1896, but only lived till August 16. This was the largest example imported alive, and was just acquiring its permanent teeth; it was kept in one of the large dens in the sloths' house, and appeared to thrive for a time, though it was never lively. Brazza's monkey from French Congoland, remarkable for its chestnut brow-band, strange facial coloration, and white beard, was exhibited for the first time this year. Another novelty was the clawless manatee of the Amazon, a species which was known to Dr. A. Russel Wallace, though unfortunately the skin and skeleton which he prepared were lost with the rest of his collection when the ship in which he had taken his passage home was burnt. Strange to say, the klipspringer, one of the commonest African antelopes, reached the Gardens for the first time this year, as did three remarkable birds - the lettered aragari, Baer's duck, and Frankhn's gull.

Grevy's zebra came to the Gardens in 1899. A pair had been presented to Queen Victoria by the Emperor Menelek, and Her Majesty deposited them in the care of the Society. This zebra derives its specific name, conferred by Milne - Edwards, from a former President of the French Republic, to whom a mare was presented in 1882 by the ruler of Abyssinia. The animal was sent to the Jardin des Plantes, where it lived but a few days, and the mounted skin of this, the type-specimen, is now in the Natural History Museum at Paris. At a Scientific Meeting on April 3, 1883, Colonel Grant read some notes on the zebra met with by the Speke and Grant expedition, from which it appeared that this species,, or a geographical race, ranged a good distance to the south of Shoa, whence the type-specimen was procured.

In 1900 the Rocky Mountain goat was introduced, and this example was probably the first living specimen to reach any part of the Old World. It is worth noting that a mounted specimen was figured in the Museum Catalogue of 1829.

The Queen's ostrich died in 1895, and the aye-aye in 1896, in which year Jung Pershad, the male Indian elephant deposited by the Prince of Wales (now King Edward VII.) on his return from India in 1876, fell dead in his stall. In 1897 the reticulated python, presented by Dr. Hampshire in 1876, was lost by death. For two years it had not taken food voluntarily, but had been crammed by the keepers. It was the largest specimen ever exhibited in the Gardens, and it is doubtful if a finer one has ever been seen in captivity. The stuffed skin is now in Mr. Rothschild's Museum at Tring.

The Prince of Wales (now King Edward VII), accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of York (now the Prince and Princess of Wales), visited the Gardens in May, 1899. There was another Royal visit in June, 1900, when the King and the present heir to the throne inspected a small collection of the Indian animals recently presented to the latter and deposited in the care of the Society. Among these was a lion from Rathiawar, a valuable acquisition to the Menagerie, where only African lions had been exhibited for some years.

At the close of the nineteenth century it is convenient to take note of the great increase in the staff in the office and at the Gardens. In 1828 both staffs consisted of less than a dozen; at the end of 1900 they numbered nearly 130. At Hanover Square were the Secretary (Dr. Sclater), the Vice-Secretary (Mr. Beddard, also Prosector), the Accountant (Mr. J. Barrow), the Librarian (Mr. F. H. Waterhouse), four clerks and two messengers. The Garden staff consisted of the Superintendent (Mr. Clarence Bartlett), the Assistant Superintendent (Mr. A. Thomson), store-keeper; head-gardener. Prosector's assistant, clerk of the works, clerk in the office, twenty-one keepers, and three money-takers. Besides these there were twenty-one helpers or assistant keepers, two butchers, two stokers, one cook, one messenger, one propagator, two assistant propagators, ten labourers for garden- work, two carpenters, two bricklayers, one smith, two wire-workers, one engine-driver, one net-worker, eleven painters, eleven labourers, and one timekeeper - in all 115.

(Partial text:) The Zoological Society of London. This Edition is limited to 1,000 copies, of which this is No.377. 1905. Henry Scherren, F.Z.S., Member of the British Ornithologists; Union.

#
Zoological Society of London
1831-1840
1822-1830 1841-1850 1851-1860 1861-1870
1871-1880 1881-1890 1891-1900 1901-1905