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As It Was: Popular Klamath Falls Zoo Fades into History

Some 50 years after it closed, traces of the Klamath Falls city zoo remain at Moore Park, with slabs of concrete marking what were once pens holding bears, cougars and other animals.

Many small towns across America had zoos in the early 1900s.  The one in Klamath Falls, Ore., started out with one coyote in 1931.  Other animals were added, usually because they were not able to survive in the wild on their own.  More pens and cages were built in the park that occupies 114 acres on the southern shoreline of Upper Klamath Lake.

In those pre-television days, the zoo attracted youngsters and adults, increasing the burden and cost of feeding and caring for the animals at the same time as a feeling spread that animals belonged either in their natural surroundings or in more adequate zoos.  By the 1970s, the zoo had grown smaller as animals were sent elsewhere or died and were not replaced.  Before the end of the 1970s, the zoo was history.

Moore Park remains popular, its well-manicured soccer fields occupying most of the main lawn, with a children’s playground and picnic area behind it.  

Tipler, Samantha. "Object Lessons: Moore Park." Herald and News, 14 Sept. 2012 [Klamath Falls, Ore.], p. 1, www.heraldandnews.com/members/news/local_features/object-lessons-moore-park/article_a6e2d094-fe2f-11e1-ba1e-0019bb2963f4.html. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.