Rorisang Kgosana
9 minute read
14 Dec 2021
5:00 am

Bloemfontein Zoo animals – some thriving, some dead, some mysteriously missing

Rorisang Kgosana

While the zoo's tigers have learned to appreciate the smell of curry and perfume, life has not been as great for all the relocated animals, some of whom have died of hunger.

Sharukh one of the two tiger brothers saved from the Bloemfontein Zoo last year now at the Lions Rock big cat sanctuary in Bethlehem, Free State, 11 December 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Across a plush park with green lawns and a garden on Henry Street in Bloemfontein lies a deserted and invisible property, hidden behind tall grass, weeds, and shrubs. This was the once the well-loved and highly popular Bloemfontein Zoo, a wonderland in the heart of the city which attracted families and busloads of school children on educational outings. Built in 1920 and receiving 130 000 visitors per year, the 27 hectares also housed historic monuments such as the first tarred road in Bloemfontein and the first train ticket office. But in March 2020, 256 animals at the zoo had to be...