The first public zoo in NSW
officially opened in Sydney in 1884 on a site known as Billy Goat Swamp in Moore Park, now known as Kippax
Lake. The zoo was operated by the Zoological Society of NSW which
was founded in March 1879. This is the location of this
postcard. The first elephants arrived in 1883 and a few months
later arrangements were made for public rides. Elephant rides were
stopped sometime in the late 1970's. Opposite Kippax Lake today stands the Sydney Football
Albert Sherbourne Le
Souef, the elected Secretary of the zoo, visited Germany in 1908. He returned with
a vision for a new Sydney zoo, based on the bar-less exhibits of Hamburg Zoo. The Zoo's site at Moore Park had
become too small and was not suited to the new vision. A new site for the zoo was sought and on April 24th, 1912
the NSW Government granted 43 acres of land north of the harbour which were part of Ashton Park. Another 9 acres
were granted four years later.
Management of the zoo passed, in
1913, to a Trust named the New Zoological Gardens Trust which later
became the Taronga Zoological Park Trust.
The first exhibits to be built
were the seal ponds, elephant temple, monkey pits, top entrance, aviaries, paths and roadways and the
refreshment rooms. In all, 228 mammals, 552 birds and 64 reptiles were moved from Moore Park to Taronga. Many,
including the elephants, crossed the harbour on board a flat top barge.
Taronga Zoo was officially opened
on October 7th, 1916.
This postcard therefore was taken
between 1883 and 1916.