02/28/02 - posted by Christine Miller
As I pass the zoo on my way to work each morning, it is interesting to see the tops of new buildings peeking out from amongst the trees and the expansion that is taking place on what was once Fleishhacker Pool.
My childhood memories of the S.F. Zoo in the 1970's are pretty happy ones, despite windy weather, trash cans swarming with bees, sea gulls that attacked to get at your food and the highly aggressive goats in the barnyard that would knock kids over and make them scream and cry.
Armed with a red, plastic, elephant-shaped Zoo Key, we ran up to each animal's exhibit, turned on the recorded message with a turn of the key and then raced ahead to turn on the next one. That is, unless our mom actually made us stop and listen to the recorded message that came out of the little metal box.
I miss the StoryLand Castle that was at the entrance to the Children's Zoo, but not Monkey Island or the miserable sight of animals pacing back and forth in small cement and metal cages.
I think the zoo has improved over recent years, but it sure does cost a lot more than it used to!!! Hopefully, they will hang on to some of those older buildings like the Lion House and the Pachyderm House and keep the wide open spaces that still make the zoo enjoyable for strolling and munching Pink Popcorn.
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