February 19th, 2017 ~ Day 331
I couldn’t get over not seeing the Old LA Zoo, the trail we thought we were hiking on Friday. I wanted to see it desperately. So after a couple days of discussion, thinking I may know the area a little better, we decided to go find the Old Zoo Trail.
We began at a park. Hiking up a road, not sure if we would find the zoo or not, we turned a corner and there it was, only a short distance from the parking lot. The old zoo is another great place, again in amazing Griffith Park, not too far from the LA Zoo. We were on the other side of the park from where we hiked on Friday and it would have been a long hike to get here, thankfully for times sake, we didn’t get here on Friday. We would have been so late getting to see Eric’s family.
Coming upon the zoo, it looked amazing. I was excited to see the old buildings! Old abandoned structures that once housed animals. The zoo opened it’s doors in 1912 and closed in 1966 when the LA Zoo opened. These structures could be over 100 years old, how cool is that?
The brown color of the structure makes me think a lion would have lived here. The color is changing and mold is growing on the walls, yet you can still see sections that must have been original.
It’s hard to believe animals once lived in these small enclosures. I’m sure when it was built in 1912, they thought it’d be a good size. By today’s standards, it’s just cruel to put an animal in something so small.
I went into the enclosure behind the wall and there was a stairwell, full of debris. Maybe this is how they would feed the animals…Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! I can only imagine.
We walked along the front of the rock face structures and came to a turning point that would take us around the back section of those rock structures. Fenced off now to try and keep people out, it was still interesting. Although the fence wasn’t working, as people littered throughout behind the fence, we received our own show of human animals.
We walked by the upper section and continued on a trail. Not sure where we were heading, except we knew we were going away from our car, we decided to turn around and head back.
A tiny glimpse of a house we passed. Who knows what it held so many years ago. We saw so many different types of structures on this hike. All too small to hold an animal in today’s world.
Heading back the way we came, I captured the view of the valley below. Another cloudy day in California. The clouds so low, they hung in the hills across the way.
Heading back, we took a left rather than a right going a different way and we came upon some more cages. The smaller cages, if they could get any smaller, only fed into my curiosity. What kind of animal could live here? The fences have become mangled and were falling apart. I wonder if they will last another 100 years.
Knowing these cages could be over 100 years old, I was amazed by the tools they had to build this so long ago.
Each cage had a lock, but a couple of them were broken, so of course I had to climb in. Why not, everyone else did. The small cages had moss and vines covering the inside. A couple of them had the ground completely covered in water. One cage even had a stream flowing through it. I wonder if the animals had to live with the water in their cages. That would be a horrible scenario in my opinion.
The metal of these cages have become a beautiful color, a rainbow of rust, as the metal deteriorates. If time and deterioration of these old structures wasn’t enough, graffiti littered the zoo as well. I hope it does last at least another 100 years, if only human hands do not destroy the beauty of this place.
Nature is taking back its territory. What was once here before the zoo is moving back in. A beautiful image, with the structure and the plants.
As our hike through the old zoo ended, we came upon a waterfall coming off the mountains. Eric couldn’t wrap his head around how there was so much water still coming down of the mountains. Especially since it hadn’t rained all day. We were just grateful to see it’s stunning beauty in effect.
What an amazing piece of history we were given the chance to explore today. I was adamant in wanting to see this place and I’m so happy we did. I love old buildings and I love history. It was an amazing day for a hike at the old zoo!