#39 Ann Arbor Stories: We Had a Zoo

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August 3, 2017


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aas-zoo.mp338 MBAudio

Bears. Bobcats. Badgers. Red foxes. Raccoons. And a wolverine. Once upon a time they watched from campus with their predatory eyes as students at the University of Michigan, townies, and delicious delicious children walked past.

Their territory on the corner near Geddes and Washtenaw - that's where these wild beasts stalked for more than 30 years. Stalked is a little hyperbolic. Watched. They watched. But with slavering mouths and sharp curved teeth.

We didn’t mention the cages. There were cages. And some fences. And zookeepers. Wait, we didn’t mention. Um, everyone … we had a zoo!

Parental Listener Warning: This episode contains references to a few animals that die, wild animals at sporting events and otter water slides.

Music by: Shout Out Out Out Out

Length: 00:15:39
Copyright: Copyright Protected
Rights Held by: Quite Scientific Records, LLC
Media Categories:Ann Arbor, History, Local Creators, Local History
Media Series:Ann Arbor Stories
Media Type:Audio

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Try just using the second name

Great story

Especially about the wolverines.


Terrible for Brother to see how Sister was removed from the zoo.

More to the Story

I knew the story of the famous wolverine mascots prior to listening to this podcast, but I had no idea that the University of Michigan ever had a significant collection of (live) animals. It's interesting to listen to this from a modern perspective, and probably for the best that the zoo's animals were eventually dispersed.


cool story, never knew AA had a zoo at one point

hard to hear

Thank you, Rowan, for the hint.
I enjoy the local history very much - but these badges are harder than they need to be. Sometimes they are hard to hear, and clues would help.
(Google sometimes helps too.)

Want photos?

If you'd like to see photos of the Ann Arbor zoo, follow these links:


Thank you AADL for the Old News resource!!

- HERE949
and new player BLUE993

fun to learn that Ann Arbor

fun to learn that Ann Arbor had a zoo

Tiny zoo!

This was another fascinating story. Interesting that most of the animals were native to the area, even fairly common animals like skunks and foxes. Perhaps even then people were sufficiently disconnected from nature that they needed up-close encounters with captive animals in order to become aware of the world around them? But perhaps the most useful thing that I, as a new Ann Arbor resident, learned from this podcast was how to pronounce "Geddes"! (I have an old friend of that surname who pronounces it differently.)