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  • Writer's pictureGrant Guy

Abandoned L.A. Zoo




The Griffith Park Zoo, known as the Old Los Angeles Zoo, was a city owned zoo that opened in 1912, and closed in 1956. The ruins of the zoo still stand today, as a part of Griffith Park, and are fascinating to explore.


The zoo is quite small, but you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny. There’s an aviary and a bear pit among the cages and stone enclosures. When you’re inside you realise what a challenging life the animals must have had living in such a small space. The zoo not only housed smaller animals including wolves, monkeys, bobcats and deer, but also larger animals including camels, llama and elephants.


The whole experience can leave you a bit sad.


But of course, there is a happy ending as the animals were transferred to the new, and spacious Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1966.


The ruins of the abandoned zoo are a hidden gem well worth a visit, and if you feel like a bit of a hike, you can walk up the hill behind the zoo, and see the enclosures from a “back of house” angle.

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Southern California #64 - last visited April 2021

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