Did You Know, Chicago? Lincoln Park Zoo

Did You Know, Chicago? Lincoln Park Zoo
Crowd at the Lincoln Park sea lion cave, circa 1910

I love random Chicago facts, so every week I'll present  "Did you know,Chicago?" and give interesting tidbits about Chicago favorites. (Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you the square footage of the Merchandise Mart.)

I absolutely love Lincoln Park Zoo. It's beautiful, free and has great history. I researched the zoo a little bit last night, and I found out a few things you might find amusing:

The zoo made its first animal purchase in 1874: a bear cub for $10. The bear pit was built in 1879, but the bears learned how to climb out and would regularly roam the zoo at night.

The original sea lion house was built in 1889, but the 18 sea lions were moved in before it was completed. They all escaped and 17 were found in a Clark Street restaurant. The missing sea lion dove into Lake Michigan and was never seen again.

When Judy the elephant refused to board the train to be taken from Brookfield Zoo to Lincoln Park Zoo in 1943, she had to be walked the whole way.

Lincoln Park sea lion cave, 1908
Lincoln Park sea lion cave, 1908

Images via Chuckman's Chicago Nostalgia. He has some great photos.

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