This linen postcard is from the 1930s showing the elephant enclosure at the zoo. The San Francisco Zoo was originally named the Fleishhacker Zoo after its founder, banker and San Francisco Parks Commission president Herbert Fleishhacker. In 1929 a zoo was planned next to the then largest swimming pool in the country the Fleishhacker pool. The area was also already home to a children’s playground, an original (circa 1921) Michael Dentzel/Marcus Illions carousel and the Mother’s Building, a haven for women and their children.

The original exhibits were populated with animals from Golden Gate Park, including two zebras, a cape buffalo, five rhesus monkeys, two spider monkeys, and three elephants (Virginia, Marjorie, and Babe). The first exhibits built in the 1930s cost $3.5 million, which included Monkey Island, Lion House, Elephant House, a small mammal grotto, an aviary, and bear grottos. These spacious, moated enclosures were among the first bar-less exhibits in the country. In 1955, a local San Francisco newspaper purchased Pennie, a baby female Asian elephant, and donated her to the zoo after many concerned children donated their pennies, nickels, and dimes for her purchase.   Reference:

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