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Arts and Entertainment

Exploring the Eerie Abandoned Old L.A. Zoo

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Griffith Park is home to the remnants of what was, for five decades, the Los Angeles Zoo. Moved in 1913 from what's now called Lincoln Park, the zoo was shrouded in struggles from the start, and endured a rocky tenure in the ravine.

In 1916, the Health Department nearly shut down the zoo when they learned its sewage was draining into the L.A. River, explains the Griffith Park History Project. In World War I, a meat shortage left the city unable to properly care for the animals, and several died. By 1923, people were speculating the zoo would shut down soon.

A renovation in the 1930s thanks to the Works Progress Administration gave the zoo a new chance, but by the late 1950s, the city was talking about relocating the facility. Ultimately a golf course at the northeast end of Griffith Park was chosen (golfers got a new course) and ground was broken there in 1964.The old zoo was basically abandoned.

But if you want to explore the old zoo, there's definitely still some (spooky-to-some) stuff to see, like old stone caves and cages. It's a picnic area now, with tables, and you cantake a hike in the area. You might also recognize the site as a location for some movies, including "Anchorman."

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Historicast - Los Angeles - Episode 03 - Old L.A. Zoo from J. Peicott on Vimeo.