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From The Archives

From the archives

18 October 2014

9:00 AM

18 October 2014

9:00 AM

From ‘War and wild life’, The Spectator, 17 October 1914: The siege of Antwerp has been a minor tragedy in a quarter to which few probably gave a thought. The authorities of the Antwerp Zoological Gardens, before the bombardment began, felt compelled to destroy all the dangerous animals in their cages. They could not contemplate the possibility of beasts of prey loose in the streets; a stray shell would break the bars of the strongest enclosure, and the Zoological Gardens are situated near one of the important railway stations, which would naturally attract the fire of cannon. The idea of protecting the cages with sheets of steel seems to have been considered and discarded; and the last we hear is that the snakes and other reptiles had been destroyed, and that the keepers were going the round of the houses shooting and burying the lions, leopards, and wolves.


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