Image: Luke M. Schierholz
All images are copyrighted and used with permission of their respective photographers.
The wind swings the old cage door open as if to free a reluctant occupant. But there’s nothing there… Or are those paw prints in the sand? Besides, isn’t that the stale breath of some meat-eating beast hanging in the air? And what’s that rustling sound in the bushes? As we explore the following places, you’ll see that abandoned zoos can be more than a little creepy.
Old and now-deserted zoos are full of stories – often those of scandal, neglect, and falling into disrepair or on hard times. If the animals got lucky, they were moved to a bigger, better zoo, but in some cases they died due to improper treatment, starvation or disease.
It’s difficult not to imagine the hardship that led to the demise of a zoo while looking at these strangely haunting images showing empty cages and enclosures – now derelict spaces where large exotic animals no longer prowl or rest. Instead, these incarcerated creatures have been replaced by humans inclined to explore such forsaken places.