Continuing our occasional series on local history:
In 1909, Colonel William Selig, a traveling magician turned film producer, purchased 32 acres of land adjoining today’s Lincoln Park. On the property he established the Selig Zoo, which doubled as a home for the animals he used in his movies and rented out to other producers.
The first Tarzan movie was filmed at the private zoo, and for many years, it was the only zoo south of San Francisco.
In time, it became the largest collection of wild animals in the world, with 700 different animal species.
In the 1920s, financial problems and a flood spelled the end of the zoo, which was located on what are now the tennis courts in Lincoln Park. The surviving animals were donated to the city, forming the nucleus of the Los Angeles Zoo.