Hearing Henry Mancini in the Background

Forty years ago this month, there was an elephant walk.

In this elephant walk, four elephants lumbered trunk to tail from the dilapidated Griffith Park Zoo to their home at the new Los Angeles Zoo. As a result of this, the LA Zoo is celebrating an anniversary this year. But that’s not what I want to write about; I’m into history–what was, instead of what is.

Not that many people know that the old Griffith Park Zoo is still accessible. It is now the “old zoo” picnic area, and the empty displays and cages are still there. This is remarkable in a city that loves to get rid of its history. I used to enjoy visiting the old zoo area… not that many people know about it, and it’s just fascinating to walk around and sense the ghosts. So where is the old zoo? The old zoo picnic area is located inside of Griffith Park off of Griffith Park Drive, very close to the intersection with Crystal Springs Drive. This is towards the eastern Side of the Park. . . nearby landmarks are (to the east of the old zoo) Shane’s Inspiration Playground and (to the south-east of the old zoo) the Merry-Go-Round.

Why is the old zoo so neat? In addition to the ghosts, you get to see a zoo built in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration and County Relief crews. Not many of those left today. You can see some more pictures of the old zoo here.

P.S.: For those that don’t get the title of this post, this should give you a clue; and if that doesn’t work, try this.