One day in March 1957, my dad showed me an advertisement from the Zoo (Feb. 6, 2011) in the “Courrier d’Afrique” newspaper in Leopoldville announcing it had completed construction of some new animal enclosures and invited the public to come out the following Monday to see the animals in their new surroundings. When we arrived, there were indeed new, more animal-friendly habitats than the cages that were norm in the original development of the Zoo. But the animals were plush toys with signs proclaiming “Poisson d’Avril” (April Fools) next to them.
|The lion enclosure circa 1957 with actual animals (photo author coll.)|
|A leopard in one of the older cages in 1945 (photo author coll.)|
|An elephant chained in its space (photo author coll.)|
|The entrance to the Zoo (photo author coll.)|
|A school group visiting the Zoo (photo author coll.)|
|Horses grazing near the monkey cages (photo author coll.)|
|One of the older animal enclosures at the Kinshasa Zoo (photo author coll.)|