15th Feb 2016

Margaret Vanderkolk is a volunteer at Auckland Zoo. She first talked about its history and how in November 1911, a private menagerie was opened in Onehunga by John James Boyd. The local residents were upset about the zoo – and the following years saw a multitude of safety concerns and complaints about the noise, smell, and crowds. In June 1922, Auckland City Council purchased the animals and six months later, on 17 December 1922, opened what is now Auckland Zoo, at the current Western Springs location.

Initially the zoo sought to bring the “exotic” outside world to New Zealand. Animals were for entertainment also – witness the Chimpanzees’ tea party and the elephant rides.
The zoo has now moved towards a model that focuses on
• A structured education programme
• Conservation
• The creation of natural environments and mental stimulation for the animals