GUERNSEY HISTORY 

5th January 1973
Guernsey Zoo is sold as a going concern

Guernsey Zoo, which was once one of Guernsey’s most popular tourist attractions, was sold on 5 January 1973. The owners, Mr and Mrs Ronald Smart, had organised with Knight Frank and Rutley to market it to potential buyers for sale as a going concern.

The unusual advert for an “attractive fully furnished period house with six bedrooms” also listed a baby elephant, chimpanzees, baboons, bears, llamas and exotic birds housed in cages and aviaries, many of them heated for the winter, on a two-and-a-quarter acre site.

The sale also included a children’s farmyard, tea bar, gift shop, “piped music”, garages, and parking for 250 cars. Although the advert didn’t state a price, news reports surrounding its eventual sale said that it went for around £70,000.

International programmes

The Zoo had been very successful in its time. It started work on a United Nations of wildlife in the 1960s, and in 1967 received a gift of deer and squirrels from Moscow Zoo on behalf of the government of the Soviet Union. The following year, it took in a four-month-old Himalayan bear that had been adopted by soldiers in Vietnam after its mother had been killed by flying shrapnel.

Perhaps its greatest success, though, had come with the 1967 birth of a parma wallaby which, according to the London Zoological Society, was possibly the first to have been successfully bred in captivity. This particular breed of wallaby was almost extinct, except on a 5000-acre island off New Zealand. It was later found to also be living on the eastern coast of Australia.

The zoo’s eventual closure (it became the Guernsey Bird Garden, which has also since closed down) left the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey as the only zoological establishment in the Channel Islands.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged ,

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

What else happened in Guernsey in January?

Guernsey history newsletter

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

* indicates required

The Sarnian

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

Click here to get your copy today…

February in Guernsey through the years…

Plans for the power station at St Sampson were approved

28th February 1903

A fugitive murderer committed suicide in St Peter Port

24th February 1911

Aurigny Air Services was founded by Derrick Bailey

19th February 1968

HMS Guernsey was launched in Aberdeen

17th February 1977

Typewriter artist Dom Sylvester Houedard was born

16th February 1924

Sarnian secrets

Sign up to The Sarnian's occasional newsletter for updates on your favourite characters and locations, to go behind the scenes on the writing process, and for early-bird discounts on every new book. We promise not to share your details with anyone else, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you choose.
* indicates required

Search the archiveWarning