old los angeles zoo

6

Old Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park LA, CA

The Old Los Angeles Zoo was opened in 1913. It was doomed from the start. There was simply not enough money to build cages, so most animals were kept in stockades. In 1916 the lions had to be put down because they all had a contagious disease (this was diagnosed by the Health department because the zoo didn’t have a vet of it’s own). Then the Health Department tried to shut it down because it’s sewage was draining into the LA River. WWI called for rations so the zoo was no longer allowed to feed its carnivores meat. The zoo officials tried to substitute horse meat instead of beef, but most of the animals grew sick and died. The zoo was eventually shut down. (Another zoo was opened nearby some time later). 

The zoo has been a scene of several movies including Anchorman. 

sources:

http://laist.com/2012/06/19/photos_exploring_the_eerie_old_la_z.php#photo-1

http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/zoo.html

Yesterday was saturday and like so many saturdays my neighborhood was filled with yard sales. I snagged a giant jade plant and a old Minolta x-700 with a bag full of lenses, batteries, filters and adapters! I used my Dad’s old Minolta in college so this is a really exciting find for me. I have a brownie and a holga, they’re fun but I really missed having a 35mm manual slr. 

Today Maeby and I woke Mike up with kisses and an offer to head out to the old Los Angeles Zoo at Griffith Park. I wanted to test out my new camera! I had some Kodak 400 film laying around so I loaded that up. We spent most of the afternoon climbing around and taking photos with the Minolta, video with our new Canon 60D as well as our iPhones :P I was feeling really good, super excited about the shots I got. Then, on our way out, I wanted to snap one more pic but needed to change the role of film. I thought I had rewound it, but upon opening the back of the camera I found I had not. Well, about 1/8 had rewound but the film ripped and left most of the roll exposed. 

Yeah, it’s been that long….as I was turning the little film rewinder thingy there was a bit of resistance and an odd noise for a turn but then it stopped so I kept on winding. I should have known better but I opened the back anyway and ruined all but two photos. 

Hungry and frustrated we retraced our steps to try and re-take a few shots. The light was totally different and some shots we couldn’t even begin to recreate, the majority of the roll I had developed is just us in the Target parking lot. 

Despite the loss I’m happy with how the camera works and what shots we did get. I had fun crawling around in abandoned zoo enclosures taking photos and video with Mike. Film is fun.

This shot is probably my favorite. We took Hipstamatic shots of this location too. Mike and I both had a hard time focusing the camera and I think Mike did a good job on this one. Plus all the wet slimy, rusty overgrown awesomeness is awesome.