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New black leopard at Griffith Park Zoo

New black leopard at Griffith Park Zoo

March 2, 1941: Among the new animals at Griffith Park Zoo is this snarling black leopard, a native of Malaysia, sent from the San Diego Zoo.

In a short story the next morning, The Times reported:

When gifts of animals came to the Griffith Park Zoo yesterday, six were from the San Diego Zoo and one was from “heaven.”

Most unusual was the black leopard from San Diego.

Most unexpected was the tiny lamb that looks like a kid, brought by the stork yesterday afternoon to the herd of African mouflon, said to be ancestors of the domesticated sheep. Two hours after birth the lively little creature was hopping about, accustomed to the world.

Black spots on velvety black characterize the snarling male leopard, a native of Malaysia, which became a new inmate of Griffith Park Zoo, a gift from the San Diego Zoo.

Black spots on black––sounds like the picture of a cellar at midnight––but they show, for the background is a reddish, rusty black, and spots are shining ebony shade.

The snarl is authentic, with wicked pointed teeth and glaring green eyes.

A black leopard is as unusual as a black Siamese cat, appearing about every 10th generation, Charles Allen, chief zoo attendant said.

This photo by staff photographer Paul Calvert accompanied The Times story on the local news section front page. The San Diego Zoo also sent a pair of New Guinea baboons, a pair of Sika Japanese deer and a mountain lion.

1 Comment

  1. April 3, 2012, 7:49 am

    So sad to see such a majestic and powerful animal behind bars. What has he done to be confined in a cage? How long did he live in solitude and taunted by visitors? Wish we would learn the true story of how he was captured, if he had offsprings, or was living with other leopards before he ended up like this. It had to be really hard for an animal used to roam vast areas of land and used to freedom.

    By: Ciara

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