Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The history of snow

Our recent bit of nasty winter weather certainly isn't unprecedented here at the zoo. Back in 1916, the "Great Snowstorm of 1916" occurred the end of January through the beginning of February of that year. All of Phinney Ridge was heavily blanketed under snow for many days. Pictured here are a couple shots from our archives: the first shows the former Primate House, built in 1911 and has the distinction of being the zoo's first heated structure. The building was demolished in 2005 and the location is now the site of Zoomazium. The photographer's location would have been about there the exit is for the Tropical Rain Forest dome is now, looking west towards the Lemur Island exhibit.

The second shot is of the "umbrella exhibit," a netted pool which housed ducks and/or seals. The Primate House is visible in the background to the right and the old bear cages (replaced with open grottos in 1950 and now housing Asian bears and Sumatran tigers). The photographer would have also been looking west, near the current site of the zoo's main restrooms.

We hope you are all safe during this most recent "great snowstorm" and we'll also like to give kudos to our keepers, grounds and maintenance staff, volunteers and many others who braved the elements to care for the animals.

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