Actors Tony Timberlake and Darren Bennett took time off from appearing in the musical Cats at the King's Theatre to visit Glasgow Zoo. Also in the picture are local boy Scott McMaster and Clyde, the zoo's white Siberian tiger. The occasion was the announcement that the tigers were to be sponsored by the Esso Petroleum Co. The photograph appeared in the June 1994 issue of Glasgow City Council's newspaper The Bulletin.
The Zoological Society of Glasgow was founded in 1936, but it was not until 1947 that Glasgow Zoo opened on land purchased on the Calderpark estate. Tigers were kept from the beginning. The zoo hit the headlines in 1949 when a female Bengal tiger, Sheila, was shot dead by Zoo Director Sydney Benson after she left her enclosure and approached a group of Brownies.
The conservation aspect of caring for this increasingly rare species was stressed as criticism mounted from animal welfare groups. In June 2003 it was announced that, for financial reasons, Glasgow Zoo would close in September and new homes would be sought for the tigers.
Reference: Bulletin photographs, Box 11, June 1994
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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