Where Have the Animals Gone?

We saw this building from the road and knew we had to stop and check it out.

z entry


At first we didn’t know what we were wandering in to, then we realized that we were not alone.

z under


We decided to not go up the stairs at first and instead  wandered around under the walkway for a bit.  It finally dawned on us that we were in an abandoned zoo.

z under3


I admit,  it was a little eerie walking through here and seeing the overgrown, empty enclosures from the ground level.

z under2


Above us we could hear some people calling out “Marco!”… “Polo!”, and decided to take the chance of meeting the them.  So we headed upstairs.

z overlook


The wooden walk ways are in decent shape, but totally overgrown with grape vines and the occasional fallen tree.

z walkway impeded


We ended meeting a group of young men who are living the life on the road.  They were nice enough and we had a pleasant chat but sunset was fast approaching.

z lion cage


All the time I wondered, where have all the animals gone?

bi zoo sunset


10 responses

  1. tabularasa88

    Very nice.

    November 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm

  2. Fascinating location!

    November 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

  3. Nice! Love the last one! Love Belle Isle. Remember when they first opened this zoo. :(

    November 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    • Shame about it being closed, it is a small zoo but looks like it was pretty nice back in the day.

      November 22, 2013 at 8:55 am

  4. Another great discovery. I wonder why it closed?

    November 22, 2013 at 1:38 am

    • Like most things in Detroit, no money. It must have been a really nice little zoo when it was opened.

      November 22, 2013 at 8:53 am

  5. Potedude

    Great discovery as usual. And meeting some travelers, often have the best out-of-the-way tips to go and explore. I don’t understand how something like this could just be abandoned.

    November 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    • These guys were pretty cool but the one tip they gave us didn’t pan out so well for us. Oh well.

      It is easy enough for places like this to be abandoned when you look at the financial situation of Detroit. Though now that they’ve declared bankruptcy things should actually be getting a little better for them. The talk is that the city is going to turn Belle Isle over either the state or federal government as a public park (it is currently owned and maintained by the city as a public park). Zoos are very expensive to maintain and they don’t bring in a lot of money, so I can understand why this one folded.

      November 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

  6. Abandoned zoo? Great find, and not something you ever really think about running into. Crazy, and I’m left wanting to see more…

    December 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    • I should have taken more shots here, I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of the people we ran into! Of course, most of the Detroit portion of the trip left me kicking myself for not taking more shots. Lesson learned.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

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