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1940's

Lion escapes

By Christine Birtwistle

My family have visited Chester Zoo since it opened. Around 70 years ago my great grandmother (Mrs Edith Gibson) took her grandchildren on their regular visit, only to be met by an escaped young lion. Unfazed, she promptly escorted it back to its enclosure, much to the amusement of my Mother and her siblings. This story has passed down through the generations, and I relay it to my twin Granddaughters on our visits. We are all members of the zoo, visiting regularly, and it is our family day out on Christmas Eve every year.

This image was taken in 1918 and is of Edith Gibson and 6 of her children, the eldest daughter being my Grandmother. Edith took her children and grandchildren to the zoo regularly and two of her surviving grandchildren remember the incident with the lion.

See more: Mammals, Friends and family