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Unfamiliar Land

Old LA Zoo

Los Angeles, CA


A hidden secret in Griffith Park is the old LA Zoo. The zoo opened in 1912 with only fifteen animals, but continued to grow over the next few decades. Many of the animals there were donated by local movie studios, used once to shoot a film and no longer wanted. At the zoo’s peak lions, bears, monkeys and more shared cramped cages that were inadequate for both the number of animals and the number of visitors. The abandoned enclosures were left empty when the zoo closed in 1966. Today it’s more a home for graffiti artists and low-budget TV shoots than for animals.

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