Pandemonium of a New Kind
First it was the lizards. Slowly it spread through the animals, easing from one species to the next, increasing in size before reaching the great apes some weeks later, and onwards to the elephants.
The zoo turned in a blind eye, the visitors did not. Despite the fear, and the scare stories, visitor numbers had never been higher. Queues round and around The Regent’s Park were viewed greedily by the management, warily by the The Royal Park-keeper. The alteration in the crowds came as subtly as did that of the inmates themselves. It made sense, of course, in retrospect that a change in the conditions and behaviour would lead to a change in those wanting to come and experience.
Even the General Manager began to worry about what was happening. A younger, nastier, angrier crowd. Once the preserve of young children, the majority of those packing out the zoo were now male and unsure. Eventually there came the day when not a single family ticket was sold, unprecedented in one hundred and ninety-one years.
The next major shift, the straw that broke the camel’s back, was the day the anteater awoke and a new kind of pandemonium broke out; the sound of which could be heard even under the great roof of St Pancras station.
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