Wonders of zoo revealed

mugdock country park, ranger alan mcbride doing a tour around the old zoo area'em'18/7/11
mugdock country park, ranger alan mcbride doing a tour around the old zoo area'em'18/7/11

VISITORS learned about the weird and wonderful creatures that used to live in Mugdock Country Park during a recent event at the park.

The ranger-led walk called ‘Pumas, Pythons and Penguins of the Past’ retraced the old grounds of Craigend Zoological Park.

The zoo was opened on April 15 in 1949 and at its height boasted over 4000 animals, reptiles and birds. Many were kept in cages arranged around Gallowhill – some of which are still visible today such as the lions den which housed three lions, Nourie, Rajah and Delia.

These were particularly popular with visitors as were the apes, Mary and Elizabeth, but the zoo’s star attraction was Charlie the three tonne Indian elephant.

There was also a miniature land train, rowing and motor boats on two of the small lochs, three tearooms in the castle and a Noah’s Ark for younger children containing small birds and animals.

The zoo closed in October 1955 after the local bus company withdrew its service to Craigend because of falling visitor numbers.