Taipei celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Taipei City Zoo yesterday with a parade featuring an ark full of dolls made in the likeness of animals.
The parade’s route was chosen as a symbolic recreation of the zoo’s relocation to its current site in Muzha (木柵) from the Yuanshan (圓山) area 28 years ago.
Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday led the 14km procession from the Taipei Expo Park in Yuanshan, stopping briefly in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, Nanmen Market in Zhongzheng District (中正) and the Taipower Building MRT station before reaching the zoo.
Students from more than 24 elementary schools dressed as Formosan sika deer, Formosan black bears and Formosan macaques joined the procession at the Presidential Office.
Established in 1914, the zoo was originally near the current location of the Taipei Children’s Recreation Center in Yuanshan.
Former zoo president Chen Pao-chung (陳寶忠) said that the relocation of the zoo in 1986 was especially difficult because of the animals’ different habits.
The predatory creatures such as the lions and tigers had to be sedated before being transported, Chen said, adding that the zebras and antelopes had to be transported in silence because they are easily frightened.
Chen also said that when elephant Lin Wang (林旺) first arrived at the Muzha facility, it fell into a ditch, but suffered no lasting injury.
Lin Wang was the zoo’s star attraction.
Chen said it led an extraordinary life, having first been used as a pack beast by the Japanese during World War II before being captured by Republic of China (ROC) forces under General Sun Li-jen (孫立人) in Myanmar in 1943 and transferred to Taiwan in 1947.
Lin Wang passed away in 2003 at the age of 86.