11 Sep 2014

Built by the zoo’s own construction team, the new Pachyderm House opened in 1961. Covering an area of approximately 20,000 square feet this accommodation is where two black rhinos lived and also tapirs and hippos. On top of that the three elephants at the zoo – Barbar, Bobo and Rascal – also went to the Pachyderm House before it officially opened. There was an impressive variety of tropical plants inside the house which had been grown in the zoo’s very own greenhouses. Two more elephants, Sally and Judy, joined the herd later in the year, both aged five years old. In 1962 a 15 year old African female called Sheila joined the herd which meant by the summer of 1962 the Pachyderm House was home to two rhinos, two half-grown hippos and six elephants – three Asian and three African. Bit of a squeeze! So, the construction of a new rhino house was very much welcome. Work began later that year and it was completed in 1963, and the two rhinos were moved to their new home.