1940 to 1949

Significant events from 1940 to 1949:

1940:The fence required around the sea lion pool was installed, and the I. J. Fox Company renewed its offer to donate three sea lions. On Monday, August 26th, Cleveland City Council turned the zoo over to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, effective October 2nd. In November, Frank Buck presented the zoo with an elephant.

1941:Within a year after the Museum of Natural History began operating the zoo, many accomplishments were evident. The sea lion pool was in operation, two bear enclosures had been renovated, main building animal cages had been painted, the heating system had been overhauled, uniforms were purchased for zoo personnel, new identification signs were installed on animal exhibits, and about 100 new animals had replaced old stock.

1942:A traveling zoo was instituted on June 23rd. It was sponsored by the Cleveland Press, the City of Cleveland recreation department and the zoo. Preliminary plans for a mini-farm within the zoo were unveiled, but were not approved, and the zoo farm idea was temporarily shelved.

1945: A miniature train was acquired. Construction of the waterfowl sanctuary was begun.

1946:The waterfowl sanctuary was completed. The first Cleveland Zoo Guide Book was published. It was written and edited by Omar Ranney, a Cleveland Press columnist, and published by Max Axelrod, who handled zoo concessions. A brand-new streamliner miniature train replaced the older train acquired the year before.

1947: Completion of the Fulton Road entrance to the zoo was ordered by Cleveland Mayor Thomas Burke. The first of a series of catastrophic floods occurred, causing a total of 41 animal casualties (34 birds and 7 mammals).

1948:Another flood in the spring hastened the Big Creek project, which called for putting Big Creek underground through three large diameter tubes. The road through the zoo that allowed for a public throughway for automobiles was closed. A perimeter fence around the zoo was installed.

1949:The culverting of Big Creek was completed.