The Vancouver Stanley Park Zoo housed many animals such as black bear, polar bear, monkeys, goats, seals, whales, raccoons, wolves, emus, bison, kangaroos, penguins, beavers and much more. Most of these animals were moved when the zoo was officially closed in 1997; however, there are still some orca whales, snakes, exotic bird and others at the Aquarium area.
I have fond memories of the zoo, but I am glad the caged animals are no longer around except for some that managed to come to the city such as deers, black bears, coyotes and cougars.
Here is another story I found along the city lamposts submitted by Dannielle Ricci.
Stanley Park. We loved it there, and the buttery smell of popcorn and the sound of peacocks provided a heavenly playground for any child.
I first remember seeing him in the early ’80s. A little old man, probably in his late sixties, frail looking. My younger brother and I would sprint to the otter tank to see if he would be there. Without fail, he was always sitting there on a bench, wearing a fishing hat and an older style winter coat. He looked like Doctor Doolittle, and peacocks, pigeons, squirrels and chipmunks came to be fed by the little old man.
He always talked to the little children that came to visit. Some parents would rush to their children by saying, “Don’t stare at him,” or Don’t talk to him, he’s dirty.” But we were always allowed to interact with him. We were among his favorites. We were allowed to put his hats on and give peanuts for the squirrels to eat. As I held food in my hand, “very steady,” he’d say. Sure enough, pigeons would flock to me, sit on my fingers and eat from the palm of my hand.
When I was about eight years old, we moved to another province. When I returned to Vancouver, I went to Stanley Park to see if he would recognize me. At the bench across from the otter tank, I saw only an empty seat. Our favorite old man was nowhere to be seen. The once magical, heavenly playground was still as beauteous; but, without him, something was missing. I know he probably traveled to his own Heavenly Playground in a world beyond us. I only hope he realized that he touch the lives and hearts of many children who grew up around Stanely Park.