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Thorney Wildlife Park

Thorney Wildlife Park which closed in the early 1980s after several years of financial struggles.

From our Facebook group …….

    • George Meadows Went to a fire there one night in the 70’s when I was in the PVFB. It was in a building on the side of the Whittlesey Road about opposite the Abbey, I think the entrance to the zoo was there. It was a big fire, at least three fire appliances, the turntable ladder and also an ambulance were all in attendance.
    • John Homewood It was on the right just before you got to the lights in the village, think a couple of buildings are still there but derelict and can be seen from the Whittlesey Road. Before my time up here though
    • Sharon Stimson I remember going there – as you drive into Thorney from Peterborough it was on the right hand side.
    • Andy Jackson remember going there a few times. They had a big silverback gorilla but i cant recall his name
    • Paul Thompson We used to go on the bus from Peterborough. It rained.
    • Christine Keating I went there a few times, last time I went by the brick building where the giraffe’s were kept was still just about standing.
    • Sue Kiddle Mamone Yes and think we may have mentioned the zoo before ..always a jolly good day out and a bonus in only a short drive away.Have photos …somewhere.
    • Sean Townsend I used to go regular. There was an ape that if you threw it a banana it would throw it back.
    • Sue Kiddle Mamone A good variety of animals for a small zoo.
    • David Glenn Went to wildlife park as kid
    • Patrick Omalley I went there as an infant , it wax great , there was a big elephant shed , and I think the old one is still standing.
    • Paul Thompson Wasn’t it linked to a circus?
    • Sue Kiddle Mamone Not to my knowledge ?
    • Donna Allen I remember it being hideous:-((( we complained as I was in a wheelchair( broken ankle), and there was a baby rabbit in small enclosure dead and covered in maggots!!!! Shut down very quickly , as I remember big animals were only in like chicken wire cages?!?!    Eeeekkk
    • Paul Thompson That’s what someone claimed on here the otehr day. Wintering for circus animals
    • Patrick Omalley Dontvthink so , it built on some of thorney abbey land I think
    • Sue Kiddle Mamone I heard they ran out of money…who knows ??
    • Jayne Neale Horton I was taken there a few times as a child. I remember a bird in an enclosure was being eaten alive by other birds. I’ve never forgotten it. Horrible!
    • Jan Bearman-Brown Was fine in its early days.. but it,and animals,became neglected..I’m sure there must be newspaper reports archived somewhere.
    • Donna Allen I’m sure there is too :-((((
    • Lise Alexander-Smith I went there with the Brownies!
    • Richard Morris Robert Bros Circus of Polebrook did use it on several occasions for overwintering of some of their animals in the early days but as others have said the standards deterioated and evenually it was shut .
    • Paul Young http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/691 ….. go to 1:49 for Wildlife Park !
    • Jayne Neale Horton Brilliant film!
    • Cathy Gutteridge Yes Richard Morris you’re right. The son/nephew of said Robert brothers is a tree surgeon in the village and has done some work for us. He told me the same story. I did go as a child on a school trip but don’t remember much about it.
    • Paul Young That film is quite frightening ….. those poor creatures trapped in a concrete jail. “They seem so melancholy” ….. too right pal !!!
    • Susan Broccoli Wow yes it used to be on the right hand side as you arrived into Thorney. Years ago
    • Judith Gow My sister lived in the converted cottages on Whittlesey Road that ran down the side of the wildlife park.
    • Carole Green In the ’70’s OH used to bike there from Whittlesey with his mates.  One time, one of them dared him to climb in the giraffe enclosure… Bad move, a giraffe kicked him full pelt in the thigh!  He didn’t climb in the pen again.
    • Rachel Prior Yes remember going there as a child too.
    • Jayne Robinson I went there as a child – the giraffe used to be able to look out onto the road. I heard it closed because the owner of the land wanted the land back.
    • Lorraine Coleman Went there as a kid.
    • Judy Dane I remember that too 🙂
    • Stuart Bollons if you go to Thorney turn right at the traffic lights there is a information plaque about it just after the tall brick wall on the right on the way out of the village.
    • Andy Jackson opposite the abbey
    • Chris Groome I remember it well.it was in the paddocks on the left hand  side of the road going towards borough.the elephant house can still be seen in the distance, it closed about mid seventies
    • Jane Abbott I remember an elephant, in the 70’s, chained up in a sort of hut.  A couple of years ago The Roberts were charged with cruelty to a lovely old elephant called Annie.  It made headline news in the Nationals and Annie  was eventually rescued and moved to…See More
    • Sue Kiddle Mamone I think until it is known for sure and(  I still believe it closed due to financial reasons) comments should be guarded.
    • Mark Finney Feeding time for the Giraffe
Mark Finney's photo.
  • Mark Finney I am sure this would violate some Health & Safety rule nowadays.

    Mark Finney's photo.
  • Sue Kiddle Mamone Doesnt everything ??
  • Richard Morris In the old days before H&E were had common sense !!!!
  • Jane Abbott Annie went to Longleat, not Woburn.  Apologies.
  • Carole Green Anne the elephant is at Longleat Safari Park.  But sadly for her, it seems the Park may have scrapped plans for an Elephant enclosure, and she will see her days out without the company of other elephants.
  • Sue Kiddle Mamone Common sense tells me to never put anything in writing unless 100% certain…just being cautious…
  • George Meadows That’s right Sue, I try to avoid sensitive matters and keep them to myself, and names too if I can, although if they are over 100 years ago it should be alright!
  • Jane Abbott I read that, Carole.  But at least she’s not being ill-treated any more.
  • Virginia Smith I lived in Eye as a child & my Mum used to take me & my sisters xx
  • Fran Watson Yes went there once (probably 1971) with the school class from St Thomas More.  Only really remember seeing the monkeys there.
  • Sue Kiddle Mamone The owner apparently was a  Fred Chapman and the zoo closed in 1978.
  • Stephen Mamone What happened to the poor animals? Did they find new jobs at Whipsnade?
  • Stuart Bollons Dog food most of them I’d imagine.
  • Sue Kiddle Mamone Do you mean did they find new homes……?
  • Sue Kiddle Mamone The Roberts were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant and I believe they lived in the Warmington area .
  • Paul Myland Yes, I can recall it being closed down because of animal neglect. I think it was either 1976 or 1977. My granny lived in the village at the time. I remember going to the wildlife park and my parents being disgusted. I was more interested in the Pong video game they had.
  • John Smith used to to go with my brother and sisters,the silverback used to throw things at you and blow raspberries.one year me and one of my sisters wandered off and i was picked up in an elephants trunk swung maybe six feet in the ground and then released,over in seconds,but you cant get that thrill nowadays.those really were the good old days for me.
  • Paul Slack Remember going several times, when it closed a farmer friend of our family had some of the animals , peacocks , large horned cattle  etc ( not the giraffe !)
  • Karen Sparkes An elephant picked you up by the trunk and threw you John? Ahh the good ole days before H&S!
  • Richard Morris The Giraffe perhaps would have been a tall order !!!!
  • Erv Kollek Yes went there on a school trip when I was at West Town school! Early 70s?
  • Sandra Abbott I remember going on a school trip early/mid 70’s
  • Karen Sparkes Took a short road trip to Thorney today.  There’s an information board outside the site.  Please excuse the pigeon poop.
Karen Sparkes's photo.