Artefact of the month - November 2007
Guy Fawkes and domestic cat, from the book "All About Animals", 1897
Subtitled "WILL HE EAT HER?", this photograph shows the hippo Guy Fawkes heading towards one of London Zoo's pet cats. Thankfully, the cat came to no harm.
The title is misleading as Guy Fawkes, so-called because born on 5 November 1872, was in fact a female hippo. An attempt to rename her Cleopatra was a failure. She was the first hippo to be successfully reared by her mother in a Zoo.
The cat didn't just wander in by mistake - a number of cats were kept at the Zoo; each animal house had one to catch the rats and mice.
The photograph is by Gambier Bolton, who took most of the fascinating pictures in this book.
ZSL Library holds many historical books about London Zoo, including old guidebooks, which you are welcome to see.