1970 to 1979

Significant events from 1970 to 1979:

1970:Transfer of the zoo ownership from the City of Cleveland to Cleveland Metroparks was accomplished on March 26th. In late September the original zoo building (the deer house) located in Wade Park was moved across town to the zoo, where it was reconstructed at the north end of the waterfowl lake.

1971:Dedication of the relocated Wade Park zoo building, renamed Wade Memorial Hall, was on May 28th. Descendants of Jeptha H. Wade, the founding father of the Zoo, assisted financially in getting the building moved. The second phase of the moated bear grottos was completed in June, with the kodiak and polar bear displays located on the site of the old bear dens. Construction of the new servicenter building was begun in September. This building was to house an animal care unit for animal medical and surgical care, a maintenance garage for zoo vehicles, maintenance shops, a commissary for animal food storage, winter quarters for animals, and an incinerator.

1972:The Stecher Animal Care Center and service building was dedicated on September 29th.

1973:The Zoo’s first successful king penguin hatching and survival occurred in August. A volunteer group was organized at the zoo in the summer, consisting of 25 members.

1974:An elephant ride was an exciting summertime attraction. Elephant races were held on the day the rides began, with much publicity.

1975:The Zoo issued its first set of zoo local post stamps, commemorating the heroic deed of “Balto”, the lead dog of the famous team of sled dogs which delivered diptheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska in February, 1925. On June 23rd, construction was begun on a new primate and cat building, located next to the administration-education complex. On October 28th, through an agreement with the Cleveland Zoological Society, the Cleveland Metroparks system assumed complete operating responsibilities of the Zoo. Total Zoo control was vested in Metroparks. The Society became a supportive agency for the Zoo.

1976:To celebrate the bi-centennial year, a second set of zoo local post stamps was issued.

1977:Two giraffes were born. A young male pygmy hippopotamus which had been a family pet in Liberia, was acquired. “Wolee,” as the hippo was called, was fond of beer and saltine crackers.

1978:The long awaited new primate and cat building was completed in the spring. Dedication was on Friday, June 23rd.

1979:On December 31st, an intruder gained access to the deer paddock and killed one of the barasingha deer with a bow and arrow. A second deer, fleeing in panic, injured itself so severely it had to be destroyed. A third deer in the herd also died as a result of fright and exhaustion, sustained in running from the archer. The culprit was later apprehended and jailed.

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