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    Writing way back in 1930, H.V. Morton , [1] tells of a visit to Dublin Zoo:
    There is in Ireland a science unknown to us in England called codology. Nearly every true Irishman is either a graduate or a professor. The American for codology is " bunk ", or perhaps " bla "; the English is " leg-puling ". There is nothing your true Irishman likes better than putting over a tall story on an Englishman.

    When I received an invitation to breakfast at the Dublin Zoo I thought that I could detect the hand of the chief codologist, but it took me only a few minutes to discover that a summons to a Zoo breakfast in Dublin is not only a compliment, but also a solemn and historic social event. In the cold morning, with a wind blowing from the Wicklow Hills, I took one of Dublin's most decayed taxicabs and drove to Phoenix Park. I was met at the Zoo gates and conducted to a room decorated with dead animals in which a table was set for breakfast.

    A dozen grave professional men were standing about eating porridge in little bowls. It is a tradition with the zoologists of Dublin that porridge is never consumed from a sitting position. My hosts were the Council of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland , and they have breakfasted at the Zoo once a week for over ninety years. When breakfast is over they hold a council meeting:
    " How did it begin?
    " I asked.
    " With the liver brigade who used to ride every morning in Phoenix Park,
    " said Dr. Farrer, the superintendent.
    " In those days the council's method of inspecting the gardens was not satisfactory, so it was established in 1837 that members should take breakfast here once a week, and at the end of the year the three worst attenders should be struck off the council. So you see these breakfasts keep us up to the mark.

    When breakfast was over an elephant's foot was handed to me for inspection. It is the most tragic relic preserved in the council-room, and bears the inscription:

    SITA
    who killed her keeper
    and was shot,
    June 11, 1903.

    After the toast and marmalade the council prepared for business. I bade them good-bye and retired.

     

    Edinburgh Zoo

     

    Marwell Zoo

References

  1. Morton. H.V. In Search of Ireland, Metheun & Co Ltd, London, 1930. p.32-33.