Whipsnade Zoo

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  • Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (ZSL Secretary 1903-1935) was inspired by a visit to the Bronx Zoological Park to create a park in Britain as a conservation centre. Hall Farm, a derelict farm on the Dunstable Downs, 30 miles (48 km) to the north of London was purchased by the Zoological Society of London in 1926 for £13,480 12s 10d, The site was fenced, roads built and trees planted. The first animals arrived at the park in 1928, including two Lady Amherst's pheasants, a golden pheasant and five red junglefowl. Others soon followed, including muntjac, llama, wombats and skunks. Whipsnade Park Zoo opened on Sunday 23 May 1931. It was the first open zoo in Europe to be easily accessible to the visiting public. The collection of animals was boosted in 1932 by the purchase of a collection from a defunct travelling menagerie and some of the larger animals walked to the zoo from Dunstable station. During the Second World War, the zoo acted as a refuge for animals evacuated from London Zoo. During 1940, 41 bombs fell on the park with little damage to the zoo structure. Some of the ponds in the park are the remains of bomb craters from this period.

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          Minutes of the Whipsnade Committee
          COM/1/4 · Documento · 1931-1947
          Parte de Committees

          1940-1947 is contained within vol.10 of COM/1/1. Vol. 1 of the COM/1/4 starts with the minutes of the Aquarium Committee [London Zoo], 1922-1924, as the volume was reused.

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          High Commissioner of South Africa
          SUP/6/1/1/50 · Documento · 1949
          Parte de Superintendents

          Correspondence between the High Commissioner of South Africa and George Soper Cansdale regarding a request for specimens of the big horned Afrikander humped cattle to establish a herd at Whipsnade

          Tong, E H
          SUP/6/1/1/108 · Documento · 1949
          Parte de Superintendents

          Correspondence between E H Tong and George Soper Cansdale regarding matters at Whipsnade, including causes of deaths of animals, animal record cards, the Canadian Department of Mines and Resources, the acquisition of animals, and animals on deposit from Germany

          Secretary for Agriculture, South Africa
          SUP/6/1/2/57 · Documento · 1950
          Parte de Superintendents

          Correspondence between the Secretary of Agriculture in South Africa and George Soper Cansdale regarding Afrikaner Cattle for Whipsnade

          Beale, Captain
          SUP/5/1/2/22 · Documento · 1946
          Parte de Superintendents

          Correspondence between Geoffrey Marr Vevers and Captain Beale, Superintendent at Whipsnade Zoo, regarding the return of staff from military service, information about disabled men on the staff at Whipsnade in relation to the Disabled Person (Employment) Act 1944 Quota Scheme, the progress of a baby chimp called Uno, the purchase of wire netting, Whipsnade Committee's visit of inspection to Whipsnade Zoo, accommodation at Chapel Farm and notes on the Whipsnade chimpanzee