Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo was founded by George Mottershead.  As a child, he visited a now closed zoo in Manchester, and is reported to have been so upset seeing large animals in small cages, that he said to his father 'when I have a zoo, it won't have any bars'.  His dream was finally realised in 1930, when he brought his family to live in the Oakfield house and formed the original collection of animals from an earlier zoo at Shavington, near Crewe.

His venture became the North of England Zoological Society in 1934, and with considerable skill and enthusiasm, he kept the Zoo going through the Second World War.  Rapid expansion followed after the war.  'Always Building' was a slogan of the time.  He received the OBE and served a term as President of the International Union of Zoo Directors.  He died in 1978 aged 84 having realised his dream of a 'zoo without bars'.

Today the Zoo covers an area of over 100 acres within a total land holding of over 400 acres.  It is internationally known for its innovative enclosure designs, for its many breeding successes and its involvement in co-operative breeding programmes.

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