Taronga’s really old!

Taronga is really old

So, I’m 9, and my cousin, Barry, is 17, and my nanna is 85 years old! But none of us are as old as Taronga Zoo in Sydney!

When the zoo first opened as Taronga Zoo it was 1916! There was an animal park in Sydney on the other side of the Harbour back then. It was called Billy Goat Swamp and it was the first real zoo in New South Wales, but it didn’t do very well and so the government gave some land on the other side of the water to the zoo owners in 1912 so they could plan and build a really good zoo. Back then the land they gave for the zoo was land that no one wanted to live on And where there was lots of room.

Everything had to be brought across on boats, even the animals that lived in Billy Goat Swamp Zoo, including an elephant, had to take rides on barges (which are big flat boats) to get here because the Harbour Bridge wasn’t even built yet!

Mum says she is glad she works at the zoo now, not then. All those years ago, the keepers were all men and no ladies were allowed to work with the animals and mum says that she would have been sad about that!