In the middle of the Detroit River is Belle Isle, a sprawling island park and Detroit treasure trove, with nature paths, an aquarium, beaches, sports fields, a giant slide, a conservatory, amazing views of two countries and the old Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

The zoo opened in 1895 and was closed in 2002 by the corrupt Kwame Kilpatrick, ex-Mayor of Detroit.

Last use of the space was in the movie Real Steel in 2011 for a zoo fight scene.

More history:

The Belle Isle Zoo was originally established on the island in 1895 with a deer park and a bear den. By 1909, the Detroit Zoo on Belle Isle had 150 animals in 32-acres. The Belle Isle Children’s Zoo was established in 1947 dismantled in the 1970s. In 1980, the Belle Isle Safari Zoo was opened with raised walkways expanded into the wooded area.

Belle Isle Conservancy


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