Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sepia Saturday 558

 Back on board again.  Sepia Saturday this week is all about the end of the alphabetic series

Next come numbers which will be a change and one I hope to be able to use some of my old family photos for. Meanwhile I think I will go for a topic on zoos and see what I can dredge up. We didn't have a camera when I was a small child, so my photos may be few and far between.

I remember frequent visits to the Adelaide Zoo with my parents and also to the Koala Farm which was situated close by. In those days the zoo was very old-fashioned with small barred cages  and unattractive areas for the animals. It is very different now. In fact I was unable to find any old photos of the zoo and its inhabitants on the internet. Strange!

This photo of me, taken when I was about 10 was taken at the old Koala Farm - a favourite place for birthday parties as there was a giant slippery dip, camel rides, koala cuddles, a snake pit, diving seals and a lot more.

This photo shows actor Noel Coward with a young koala.

This is the camel wagon taking visitors for a ride around the park

The Adelaide Zoo was a much larger area with a great number of different animal species. It's current claim to fame is a pair of pandas - the only ones in the southern hemisphere and a great drawcard. Back when I was small the favourite attraction was "Samorn", an asian elephant who for many years carried children on her back initially and then in her later years in a wagon that she pulled around the zoo. Nowadays it would be regarded as cruelty to animals, but 70 years ago Samorn was adored by thousands of kids and we never thought about it as cruel. 

Other favourites were George the Orangutan,  Percy the Chimpanzee and the beautiful Greater the Flamingo.

A rare family photo of the Needle clan getting ready to go into the zoo. This must have been taken in 1967 while we were waiting outside for a few more family members to arrive.
Quite amazing to see how the ladies dressed  up to go to the zoo in those days.

And finally, my three kids enjoying a rare trip to the zoo in 1971. We had just come down from Darwin where they were all born, so a trip to the zoo was very much an occasion then.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Sepia Saturday.


  1. It is quite amazing how black-and-white photographs immediately convey the sense of former times, even without looking at the clothing and other clues to the period. Nice retrospective here.

  2. Cute koalas - I'm not sure I'd appreciate having one on my head, though ;)
    We have a zoo where I live (Borås, Sweden), it started out with one lion brought home by someone from Africa (a motherless cub), I remember going to see that lion in my childhood. (I have no photo of that, though.) It grew from there to a zoo with quite a lot of space for various animals. They focus on endangered species, mostly African ones, but also some of the wild animals we have in Sweden, like bears and wolves.

  3. Koala Kuddles and a slippery dip sound delightful for a party - the snake pit, not so much.

  4. Cute pix of young-you and your kidlets enjoying a day at the zoo. Yes, once upon a time women dressed up to go places - even the zoo. Now everything is so much more casual and comfortable. Sometimes a little too casual and comfortable. I remember a few years ago going to see "Phantom of the Opera" in San Francisco and being almost flabbergasted to see two youngish couples seated in front of us in the front balcony wearing cut-off jeans and tee-shirts. I mean . . . REALLY??!!

  5. I was just thinking what Wendy said. You look like you enjoyed the Koala cuddle. My husband swears he remembers being put on the back of an elephant at the San Antonio Zoo. He was two years old and terrified.

  6. Great photos! Particularly love the one of you at the Koala Farm. These zoos and game farms seem to have had international appeal at that time. My parents took me and my brothers to the Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York when we were kids, where we could get up close to feed free roaming donkeys, deer and sheep. Great memories similar to yours depicted here.

    1. Our zoo in Adelaide has a children's section where kids can pet and cuddle a whole range of animals. All kids love it, but it must be a real thrill for city kids who don't normally get the chance for close contact with anything except maybe a cat or dog.