Windsor Safari Park


On the 25th October 1992 the animal stocklist at Windsor was as follows:

Alligators x2, Baboons x56, Bears x3, Blackbuck x4, Boa Constrictor x1, Buffalo (Cape) x4, Buzzard x1, Camels x13, Capuchin Monkeys x13, Cattle (Ankole) x4, Cheetah x2, Chimpanzees x6, Chinchilla x3, Chipmunks x9, Cockatoos x5, Cranes (Crowned) x5, Deer x54, Dolphins x8 (with two pregnancies), Ducks x2, Eagles x2, Eagle Owls x5, Elands x13, Elephants x7, Emus x3, Falcon x1, Finch x1, Flamingos x19, Frogs (tree) x3, Gecko x1, Giraffes x11, Guinea Pigs x7, Goats (pygmy) x19, Hamsters x2, Hawks x2, Hippopotamus x5, Hummingbird x1, Iguana x2, Kestrel x1, Lions x19, Lizard (Anole) x1, Llama x12, Lemurs x8, Macaws x15, Newts x3, Owls x4, Parrots x2, Pelicans x3, Penguins x11, Pheasant x1, Piranha x4, Pythons x2, Rabbits x9, Rhinoceros x6, Sealions x8, Sheep x30, Snails (giant) x20, Snake x1, Storks x2, Swans x3, Tamarin x1, Tarantulas x2, Tigers x6, Toads (Fire-bellied) x10, Tortoises x9, Wallabies x3, White-Eyes x16, Wolves x13 and Zebras x16.

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John Child cartoons!

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Interestingly, dowries were offered to any animal collection who could and would house animals from Windsor Safari Park with the same or better conditions than they had at Windsor. This was funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland (the major creditor). Some dowries ranged from £10,000 and some were as high as hundreds of thousands of pounds.

As the "flagship" species at Windsor the Dolphins were not short of offers for new homes, in the end it was decided that they would go to Harderwijk Dolphinarium in Holland. On the 2nd February 1993 the first batch of 4 Dolphins were transferred to Harderwijk Dolphinarium, Holland. This was due to the birth of Thea in 1992 and then Zeus in February 1993. It was decided they and their mothers couldn't be moved until fully weaned, thus splitting the pod into two.

Not long after agreements were made for the rehoming of significant numbers of animals still housed at Windsor:

Lions of Longleat (commonly referred to as just Longleat Safari Park), founded by the Chipperfield circus family agreed to rehome the Giraffe, Rhinoceros, Ankole cattle and the Wolf pack.

Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool (my closest animal collection!) agreed to rehome Camels, Cape Buffalo, Elands, Tigers and the entire African Elephant herd. I know from personal experience that a significant number of these animals are alive and well there today. In addition and to the delight of everyone involved Knowsley agreed to take on two of Windsors keepers as well.

West Midlands Safari Park agreed to take on Camels, deer, Lions (except two elderly lionesses) and the Hippopotamus family.

Not long after thew lionesses were offered a purpose built "retirement home" in a privately run zoo in Smarden, Kent. After the other Lions and Tigers had been rehomed and they were awaiting there new home, they were looked after by three full time keepers. A dowry of £12,000 was paid in order to provide their new home.

After some discussions, the full colony of Chimpanzees was rehomed at the Chimpanzee Rescue Centre at Monkey World, Dorset, where they live to this day. However, a dispute soon started as to the amount of the dowry given after two baby Chimps were born and needed to be hand-reared, initially Monkey World asked for a bigger dowry to build a purpose built infant facility, however this was soon smoothed over without an increase of the dowry.

Blair Drummond Safari Park in Scotland agreed to build an improved Windsor style Bear reserve and night quarters and also to take a group of Zebras.

Safari Africain, near Nates, France, actually BOUGHT the remaining Zebras in the park for £2,500. This was the only time that this happened in the entire 14 months it took to rehome the animals from Windsor. A foal and his mother remained at Windsor due to him going lame, but it was intended that hthey would join the rest of the herd at a later date.

John Child cartoons!

LOG ONTO HIS SITE RIGHT HERE for more cartoons and to contact him

view his thread!

Beekesbergen Safari Park in the Netherlands agreed to accept ALL three families of Hamadryas (Sacred) Baboons and to build an entirely new reserve and night house.

On the 29th of April 1993 the Hippopotamus family was sent to West Midlands Safari Park.

On the 27th August 1993 two of the four Cape Buffalo were shipped to Knowsley Safari Park. Knowsley were later to get cold feet at the idea of rehoming the bull in case of conflict with their current herd and suggested relocating the remaing animals to a reserve in Africa, however after patient talks, the bull and remaining pregnant cow were relocated in October 1993.

In mid September 1993 a rubber dinghy was purchased for £41 in order to catch a number of terrapins from the lake. In total eight were caught. It was agreed by Lego that the lake wouldn't be filled in due to the number of fish in it.

Parc Asterix Dolphinarium in Paris rehomed the two Sea-Lions.

In December 1993 Blair Drummond Safari Park took the two remaining Zebra (mother and now cured foal) after Parc Africain decided they didn't want them.

In the last week of November 1993 the Rhinoceros (one a day for a week) were moved to Longleat.

The three families of Hamadryas Baboons travelled to Beekesbergen on the 20th December 1993 along with Les the head Baboon keeper, who stayed with them for a few weeks.

Also, on the 20th December 1993 the two elderly lionesses (named 'the mamas' by the Smart family) went to their new home in Smarden, Kent.

And finally, the last remaining non-indigenous animals, the four remaining Dolphins, Honey, Thea, Lulu and Zeus left for Harderwijk Dolphinarium on the 18th January 1994, nearly three weeks after the agreed date and at the cost of thousands of pounds in compensation to Lego.

Ironically, the construction of Legoland was held up until it was ascertained if Badgers had given birth in a sett under the park.

As for the rest of the animals, the deer, gazelles, antelopes, snakes, reptiles and birds all found homes either in the UK or in Europe.

The agreement that no animals would be put down was kept and the only fatalities out of ALL the animals were three deer that died of shock when being transported. Not a bad figure considering that more than 640 animals were moved.

above excerpts from the book:

The animals came out two by two : the final days of Windsor Safari Park

Publisher: Bath : Chivers Large Print, 1995.

Moving Nemo from Clacton Pier to Windsor (26th June 1985)

Nemo was removed from Clacton Pier on 22nd June 1984 after he outgrew his pool and moved to Windsor Safari Park, but not without mishap. Nemo the length and weight of an average family car posed some problems to his transporters. Photo shows Nemo being loaded into the specially made transport container, the crane is then moved off the pier but the entrance boards give way under the weight of the crane. With a lot of help from locals the crane makes it off the pier and Nemo is wheeled off the pier in his container to the crane now outside & is then lifted on to the transport lorry. Nemo's journey then begins by leaving Clacton. It took four attempts to get him into a specially designed stretcher to take him the deeper pool at Windsor Safari Park. Then the crane being used to lift Nemo into a specially designed foam crate crashed through part of the Clacton Pier causing a three hour delay. Finally Nemo, smothered in lanoline, arrived at his new home. The excitement caused by his arrival in a holding pool cause a dolphin in the next pool to give birth prematurely to her baby. Windsor Safari Park officials were hoping that he would 'hit it off' with their female killer whale Winnie. Nemo was at Clacton Pier for 3 years.


  Windsor Safari Park