The Zoo Park is a public park on Independence Avenue. It is also a focal point of social life in the city. The current park is landscaped and features a pond, a children’s playground, and an open-air theatre. The remains of an elephant from between 5,000 and 20,000 years ago were uncovered in 1961, making the elephant kill one the of the earliest known such events in human history. The Zoo land was originally the site known as Schutztruppe Memorial, designated by the German colonial authorities to honour fallen German soldiers. The land was transferred to local control in 1911 when it was expanded. Cafe Zoo, which is still in operation, opened in 1916 after the coming of South African military control. From 1960 to 1963 the park was reshaped to accommodate the widening of modern Independence Avenue and Fidel Castro St. In 1967 the park was renamed in honour of Dr Hendrik Verwoerd (1901-1966), the architect of Apartheid. In February 1989 the park was given its current name.
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