Belfast Zoo in United Kingdom

Belfast Zoo
Local name Bellevue Gardens

Owner 1934-1935: George B. Chapman
Address Antrim Road
Zip-code BT 36 7PN
Place Belfast, Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom
Website Website


Key People -: Denise Austin (zookeeper)


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants

Elephant keepers 2001-2007: Joel Kerr
Random literature

Belfast Zoo, located at Antrim Road, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom , was founded in 1934.

Living elephants

At the Belfast Zoo lives 2 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Dunja born 1973
  2. Yhetoo (Yheet thoo) born 1977

Comments / picturesBefore becoming a zoo, the area was named Bellevue Gardens.

Information from Newtownabbeytimes website

In 1933, George Chapman, an animal dealer and circus entrepreneur, presented a collection of animals at the Bellevue Pleasure Gardens. That summer season alone, 203,193 tickets were sold at a rate of 4d for adults and 2d for children.

The collection included two zebra, a pair of lions, a tiger, four Russian bears, one hyena, a few pelicans and a baby Asiatic elephant.

Later that year, Belfast Corporation decided to Research the idea of having a permanent zoo on the site - inspired, no doubt, by an increase of 850,000 passengers using the Glengormley tramway.

While the zoo was operated by George Chapman, Captain Varley was the superintendent of the zoo and he was backed up by Dick Foster, who was head keeper. George Chapman died on March 15 1935 and the running of the zoo was passed to his sister, Ada who continued to run the zoo until March 12 1940.


Information from Belfast Zoo website

The zoo was opened on 28 March 1934 by Sir Crawford McCullough, the then Lord Mayor of Belfast. The venture was supported by Councillor RJR Harcourt from Belfast Corporation and was partnered by George Chapman, an animal dealer and circus entrepreneur.


In 1941, the Ministry of Public Security ordered the destruction of 33 animals after north Belfast came under aerial attack during World War II.

Animals, including lions, wolves and polar bears, were killed and the collection was not restocked until around 1947.

Several elephants survived the attacks, and one baby elephant was cared for by an elderly lady who lived on the nearby Whitewell Road.


In April 2009, 48 year old Jenny and 36 year old Dunja were 'retired' to the Belfast Zoo from their home in Hannover. Both were previous circus elephants (Dunja was confiscated by German officials from Circus Montecarlo) and will be joining 32 year old Yhetoo and 44 year old Tina. Tina has has resided in Belfast since 1966, while Yhetoo arrived in January 2009 from the Krefeld Zoo in Germany. In 2009, the zoo in Northern Ireland changed their management program to protected contact and care for non-breeding females at the recommendation of Europe\'s Asian Elephant breeding program.

References for records about Belfast Zoo

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Belfast Zoo, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Litterature about Belfast Zoo

Recommended Litterature:

Links to websites about Belfast Zoo

Recommended Links on Internet:

Belfast Zoo on

Belfast Zoo is mentioned on Elephant News:

DateLinks which opens in new window
2022-04-13Belfast zoo elephants set to be rehomed at new facility - Elephant News

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