Peacocks at Zoological Gardens, Hobart, Tasmania
Publisher: Valentine & Son Publishinh Co., Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane
The zoo was first established as a private collection in a garden in Sandy Bay that the owner, Mary Roberts, opened to the public. When she died in 1921, the zoo was gifted to the city, and moved to this site on the Domain, where it was opened two years later. You can read about that here. . . . These gates were erected a few years back. They say interesting things like: “The Beaumaris Zoo opened here in 1923. In its early years it was a popular outing for the people of Hobart, but in the 1930s, the Great Depression led to falling attendance and rising financial losses. The zoo closed in 1937. In 1942, the Royal Australian Navy converted the site in to a fuel oil storage depot. It remained in use until as recently as the 1990s, when the four storage tanks were removed.”
A Visit to the Zoo (more pictures)
Mrs Roberts owned and operated the zoo until her death in 1921. The Roberts family then gifted the zoological collection to the Hobart City Council and, with a subsidy from the Tasmanian State Government, the zoo was moved to the Queens Domain. With sweeping views of the Derwent, the site underwent a restoration to house more than 100 animals and 220 birds and was opened in 1923. Elephants, bears, tigers, eagles, zebras, ducks, rabbits and spider monkeys featured as attractions. But the zoo is most famous for being home to just one animal. The last captive thylacine nicknamed “Benjamin” was trapped in the Florentine Valley, near Mt Field in 1933 and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years.
MOVING A ZOO : PROBLEM FOR HOBART COUNCIL.
The Beaumaris Zoo at Hobart has been closed, but the evacuation of the animals and birds is no small problem. The polar bears, particularly, are determined not to be disturbed, and to date it has been found impossible to ensnare them for shipment to the Wellington (N.Z.) Zoological Gardens for which they have been purchased. It is a condition of sale that before they are taken delivery of the Hobart City Council must crate them. The bears have other ideas, and all attempts to trap them have failed. Different methods have been tried, with the object of decoying them into the den of their pit, but they are cunningly suspicious. No longer do they sleep in the den. For a time they were placed on reduced rations, and then a tempting meal was placed in a corner of the den. The male bear, with remarkable cunning, managed to reach the food with his front paw, and dragged it into the open, where it was devoured by the pair. There is a likelihood of the council seeking the assistance of the Melbourne Zoo authorities to capture the bears. A pair of Tasmanian devils has been sold to a private zoo in Brisbane.
Daily Examiner, 19 November 1937