Happy Hump-day kids! What a lovely day to go to the zoo! Your eyes are not deceiving you. This week’s Humpty is perched atop what appears to be wall with a bird cage attached to it, and that’s because he comes to us from the Wilmington Children’s Zoo in Delaware. The zoo, known as the Brandywine Zoo, decided to open a “Children’s Zoo” in 1950, and if you have been reading this blog long enough you know that 1950s + Children = Mother Goose Parks! Not unlike other attractions at the time, the zoo increased its appeal for kids by adding a series of fairy tale sculptures around the animal enclosures. The Children’s Zoo sat on a quarter acre of land and featured a petting zoo animals, a bird sanctuary, and aquariums. Alongside the animals were the familiar storybook characters and their brightly colored homes.
I guess the “zooperintendent” (I didn’t make that up!) ultimately decided that animals are enough of a draw for kids without the need to continue adding a fresh coat of paint to Humpty’s crazy eyes every season, so the Children’s Zoo removed the storybook buildings and characters in the late 1970s. The storybook theme and name officially became a thing of the past in 2013 when all the Children’s Zoo facades were finally removed by the zoo director, Nancy Falasco.
So farewell to Humpty and all of his friends at the zoo, but at least we will always have the photos to look back. And, if you’re anything like me, you can’t stop wondering what that bird thinks about living next door to a giant egg. I’m sure he’s been planning his move waiting for the day it finally hatches.