Glasgow Zoopark

(Calderpark Zoo)

Located in the Monklands a mile (1.5 km) northwest of Uddingston, Glasgow Zoopark, or Calderpark Zoo as it was originally known, was opened in 1947 on the former Calderpark Estate. Now closed, it was run by the Zoological Society of Glasgow and West of Scotland, which was formed in 1936.

Located in 40 ha (100 acres) of parkland, on the west bank of the North Calder Water, the zoo includes a Children's Farm, Bird Rescue Centre and Wildlife Garden. Today, it houses more than 600 animals, employs 24 staff and receives 150,000 visitors annually. Even from its beginnings, the zoo has struggled to survive against a tide of public opinion which felt wild animals should remain in the wild, however today it takes part in international breeding programmes designed to protect animals now endangered in the wild.

The Calderpark Estate was created by James McNair, a wealthy Glasgow Sugar Refiner who built his home there around 1815. The Zoological Society of Glasgow and West of Scotland took an option to purchase the estate in 1939. This brought about a debate which raged in the pages of the Glasgow Herald newspaper on the efficacy of the site and the morality of zoos. It was not until after World War II that the zoo was finally built, under the Presidency of John Crichton-Stuart, the 5th Marquess of Bute (1907-56).

Following long-running financial problems, the zoo closed in August 2003, although the Zoological Society stated their intention to open another attraction at a later date. The site remains dilapidated and unused (2012).

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