Into the Lion’s Den

The Zoo’s second grotto-style, moated exhibit was a more elaborate construction built in 1923 for lions Prince, Julia, and Sara. This was the first time this type of exhibit had been tried for large carnivores, and some people in the zoo community said it couldn’t be done, that it wasn’t safe. But Dr. Harry researched how high and how far lions could leap, and he built the exhibit higher and farther than that—and it worked.

When the exhibit was dedicated, funded by Ellen Browning Scripps and—who else—the Lion’s Club, a crowd of curious onlookers came to see the den that Dr. Harry built. There was even musical accompaniment—inside the exhibit in the upper left is a small band group with saxophones and a banjo!


Beginnings 1916 - 1926
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