Tall tales from zoo history

When children from the Victory Playgroup, Lytham, visited Blackpool Zoo, Catherine Drake had to get a helping hand to feed one of the giraffes, in July 1973

Blackpool Zoo will no doubt have been busy over the past two weeks, as children on their half-term holidays packed in to see the weird and wonderful creatures.

And one of the most popular attractions at the zoo is of course, the giraffe family.

Mrs Dorothy Faragher, the zoo director's secretary, calls in to see the giraffes, in 1973

So popular that when the animals were absent for a number of years, members of the public requested they were brought back to Blackpool.

After 1993, there were no giraffes at the zoo.

But in 2008, a special new attraction, Giraffe Heights, was built – with multilevel viewing platforms to allow visitors the best possible view of the animals. Three female giraffes were brought over from Ireland to inhabit their new home – after visitor surveys showed people would like to see giraffes back at the zoo.

Some of the giraffes who lived in Blackpool Zoo during the last century can be seen here in these wonderful black-and-white archive images.

Judy (right) with Blackpool Zoo giraffe Octavius, in 1990

Pictured on one of the most heart-warming shots is Judy, a 16ft Masai giraffe, with her fellow Blackpool giraffe Octavius, in 1990.

She was just about to leave Blackpool for Paignton Zoo, to meet up with toy boy mate Danny.

Arrangements had been made for her to be transported in a crate topping 20ft, and the RAC had to be called in to help. The RAC had worked with highways authorities to devise a route avoiding low bridges.

Octavius is also pictured with his mate Libby, when they became proud parents – of a 6ft baby .

Three-day-old Jasper having a look at the humans during a wander in the compound at Blackpool Zoo, in June 1981

And the baby, Jasper, can also be seen in pictures from the early 80s.

At just three-days-old, he was captured on camera having a wander around the compound to check out the humans. And he is also pictured alongside the zoo’s elephant family, with his mother.

Blackpool Zoo giraffes in March 1978

Giraffes take a look at a new arrival at Blackpool Zoo, a rhino, in 1972

Giraffes and elephants living side by side at Blackpool Zoo in 1984

Blackpool Zoo giraffes Libby and Octavius, proud parents of a 6ft tall baby

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