The day the Zoological Society of Glasgow was founded


St Mary's Parish Church Sunday School trip to Calderpark Zoo. 1983

On this day in 1936, the Zoological Society of Glasgow was founded.

The Society was formed with the aim of establishing a zoo within the city of Glasgow and initially it was planned that it would be one of the attractions of the 1938 Empire Exhibition.

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However, this proposal was rejected by the exhibition organisers and so the society had to look further afield for locations.

Calderpark Zoo - Glasgow - New lions den

Calderpark was identified as a suitable location and, although the Second World War postponed developments for several years, the zoo was finally opened in July 1947.

At its peak, the Zoo attracted around about 140,000 visitors a year and contained over 600 animals.

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Protesters picket Glasgow Zoo

It closed in August 2003 after running up a debt of around £3.5 million and failing to renew their zookeeper license, surrounded by controversy on its standards of animal welfare.

Glasgow - Calderpark Zoo - Pelican corner
Calderpark Zoo in Glasgow - Camels - Mr Philip Dawson RSPCA Mr S Benson and Mr JAS Taylor the zoo vet discuss living conditions of animals
Calderpark Zoo in Glasgow - Bears air their views
Glasgow Calderpark Zoo - Keeper Ferguson with 4 dingo pups