Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom

Bristol Zoo
Johnny Morris,1997, Wendy Elephant Bristol Zoo, 175 Birthday
Johnny Morris,1997, Wendy Elephant Bristol Zoo, 175 Birthday

HTTP code: 200 image is inline deepink from an external server, inline linking does not directly infringe copyright but can be removed on request.
Local name Clifton Zoo

First elephant arrived1868
Opened for public1836
Last elephant left2002
Closed down2022
Address Clifton
Zip-code BS8 3HA
Place Bristol
Country United Kingdom
Website Website

Directors2014: Christoph Schwitzer

Key People 2004?-2020: Christoph Schwitzer (biologist)


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants

Elephant keepers -: John Partridge
Google map
Relevant literature

Bristol Zoo, located at Clifton, in Bristol, United Kingdom , was founded in 1835, opened for public in 1836 and the first elephant arrived in 1868. The last elephant left in 2002. Bristol Zoo closed down in 2022.

Comments / pictures1836: Opened back in 1836, Bristol Zoological Gardens is the oldest provincial zoo in the world and fifth oldest zoo in the world. It was founded as Clifton Zoo on July 22, 1835, by Henry Riley, a local physician, who led the formation of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society.

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+Kingdom

The most famous animal in the 1800s was Zebi the elephant. She was on-site between 1868 to 1909. Another major attraction was Rajah the elephant who arrived at the zoo in 1913 and lived there for 13 years.

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+KingdomRajah

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+KingdomThe old elephant house

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+Kingdom
The Lord Mayor and guests at the summer garden party of the Royal Empire Society Summer School at Bristol Zoo, July 30 1936. Plus Judy the elephant and passengers.

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+Kingdom

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+Kingdom

Bristol Zoo in United Kingdom United+Kingdom
Ex keeper John Partridge with Wendy the elephant

2021-02-21: Earlier this week, Bristol Zoo announced plans to turn its car park into housing.

This came after the Bristol Zoological Society announced at the end of November the closure of its Clifton site, with plans to relocate the attraction to its Wild Place Project site in South Gloucestershire to create a 'world-class zoo and safeguard the future of the organisation'.

Goodbye Bristol Zoo - Animal Magic - Johnny Morris - BBCTV 1962-83

These Animal Magic snippets are dedicated to Bristol Zoo which closes on 3rd September 2022, as well as the brilliant TV presenter Johnny Morris 1916 - 1999.
Yes it\'s 60 years since Animal Magic first graced our screens, initially in 1962 on the only BBC television channel that there was, then from 1964 to 1983 on BBC1. For the first seven years it was broadcast in glorious black and white.
Johnny Morris was the genial and avuncular presenter. He also played the part of Keeper Morris of Bristol Zoo and will be remembered by hordes of fans as the comic genius who provided the voices of the animals (something he had done a couple of years previously with Tales Of The Riverbank).
It took Rex Harrison until 1967 to perfect talking to the animals, but Johnny beat him to it by five years!
There\'s no way I would have shared an enclosure with the gorilla and her baby shown on the final snippet! Yet, despite Morris\'s amazing bravery in getting up close and personal with the animals, apparently he was afraid of spiders and tried to avoid working with them.
If Blue Peter famously didn't pay danger money to its presenters, or to insure them, then presumably neither did BBC Bristol when producing Animal Magic.
The scene with the elephant shows that the public were sometimes placed in harm\'s way too. Did anyone think of doing a risk assessment in those days?
Bristol Zoological Gardens opened next to Clifton Down in 1936 and whilst it slightly pre-dated Queen Victoria\'s reign it is very much a Victorian walled zoo and pleasure gardens. Although only 12 acres in size it feels larger, but modern animal Conservation methods require large spaces for welfare and hence a zoo of this kind is limited in terms of the numbers of Species it can house. Sadly the famous zoo closes its doors for the last time on 3rd September 2022. The zoo has found a new larger site in Gloucestershire to the north of Bristol and will reopen in 2024.

References for records about Bristol Zoo

Recommended Citation

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

Sources used for this article is among others:

Litterature about Bristol Zoo

Recommended Litterature:

Links to websites about Bristol Zoo

Recommended Links on Internet:

Bristol Zoo on

Bristol Zoo is mentioned on Elephant News:

DateLinks which opens in new window
Lateralisation of trunk movements in captive asian elephants (elephas maximus). - Elephant News
Bristol zoo to see new elephant enclosure - Elephant News
2021-02-28Bristol zoo to close - Elephant News

Search more with Google for Bristol ZooThe link will automatically include Bristol Zoo and open a new browser window.

Search more on the Internet Web for Bristol ZooThe link will automatically include Bristol Zoo and open a new browser window

Categories zoo in United Kingdom | United Kingdom Portal | europe Portal

About this documentThis document was updated: 2022-10-29 07:28:37 with valid HTML5 Valid CSS

Elephant Encyclopedia and database

Established 1995
Established 2006
Your ip:
Kulen Elephant Forest