My wife and I ordered lunch at the takeout window then went around back to to find a table. She sat down. I wandered further down the fish pier. Rounding the corner, I found this man repairing lobster traps. Where the cage had separated, he installed a metal band to tie it back together. We said hello.
“Do they require a lot of maintenance,” I asked.
“These are wrecks,” he said. The younger guys don’t even bother to repair them anymore. They just throw them away. But at $130 a trap, I’d rather repair ’em and get more use out of them.”
From the 1920s to the 1980s, Benson Wild Animal Farm hosted a private zoo and amusement park in Southern, NH. It closed in 1987 and fell into disrepair. The town acquired it twelve years ago and opened it as a public park.
Volunteers did much of the restoration work. The park was part of many Eagle Scout projects.A few buildings, including the gorilla house remain. I walked around and read the plaques that described the history of the park.
I found the gorilla house both interesting and sad. It reminded me of a time when zoos were just a collection of cages with animals. Like wildlife jail. The history of the park said that this was home to Collosus, a 500 pound silverback gorilla, one of the largetst ever held in captivity. This was way too small for such a magnifacent animal.
I hope that when the private zoo closed, Collosus found a good home somewhere. This is much nicer as a public park than as a zoo.
Update: He had a much better home at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Cinncinati, OH. It has a naturalistic, rain forest habitat for gorillas.