What happens to the zoos when the animals leave? What happens to the fake rock pools of water, the cages, the pathways? The wood rots away, the fences collapse under the weight of unchecked vegetation, the water becomes stagnant. Electric wiring rolled up and left in piles. The concrete paths and paved parking lots are left to crack and the fall leaves to cover and hide. Local wildlife find their way in and create new homes. At least that is what has happened here at the old Nashville zoo. Only open for 7 years in this location, it was not very big, and doesn’t look as if they had a great many animals housed in this location.
It is an eerie feeling, walking along the empty paths that once held hundreds of screaming children. The cages left behind give little clue as to what animals it once held. During my stroll through the derelict pathways I came across a skunk who seemed upset I had invaded his home, someone’s cows have also made the abandonment their home. I don’t believe they liked me to much, and gave chase. (I celebrated my victory escape with a big fat juicy cheeseburger later that day.)
On of my all time favorite things to do is visit the St. Louis zoo. They have over the years expanded greatly, and I have always loved the waterfalls and streams running along the paths. Until my visit to this zoo, I never thought about the aftermath of these fake nature scenes. The pits that once held clear running water are now cesspools, the bridges and walkways are crumbling and dangerous. I am curious as to why they were not removed. Too much money, maybe, to restore the former grounds to their original glory? It seems a waste of beautiful land.
I was not able to find any information about the former zoo, a simple zoo map would have helped tremendously, but after weeks of scouring the internet, I have given up hope. Maybe some readers will have some secret hoard of information to share with me. I enjoyed my wanderings in this area and it’s definitely on my return list, hopefully without wildlife chasing after me.
Next week we will visit Bamahenge, the curiosity of Alabama.