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Watch: This 70-year-old video shows the Stanley Park Zoo in its heyday

At the time they had a dog help out with caring for the birds...

Captive animals have been kept at Stanley Park almost since it opened.

For many years the highlight of the park was the zoo, which housed a variety of animals including polar bears, giant anteaters, flamingos, monkeys, and more.

In 1953, the show On the Spot visited the attraction, with host Fred Davis exploring and interviewing the zoo's curator, Alan Best. Davis gives a colourful description of the scene and isn't too kind to some of the animals.

"The penguin is rather a dumb bird in a slow-witted sort of way," he says at one point. "We understand he almost has to be coaxed to eat."

At another point, he describes a bustling duck pond as a sight to "gladden a hunter's eyes."

The video clip shows much of the zoo, while also capturing how views around captive animals have changed. For example, Best uses his dog Pete to catch an injured duck at one point, with the dog carrying the bird in its mouth over a fence. In another scene, it's clear the monkeys and sea lions share the same area.

Also, during the interview Best admits it's hard to feed some of the animals, and explains the giant anteaters are fed a mixture of dog food and canned milk.

"They do very well on it," he explains.

At the time the zoo was quite popular, but over the years it declined. In 1996 it was finally shut down. The remaining infrastructure of the polar bear grotto, which stayed open a little longer as Tuk (an older bear) couldn't be moved, can still be found next to the Vancouver Aquarium.

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