Royal animals

We visited the Tower of London during our September travels, and I really enjoyed these sculptures by artist Kendra Haste, representing the animals of the “Royal Menagerie,” who lived at the Tower for over 600 years.

The baboons, lions, elephant, and polar bear are remarkably life-like, especially considering that they are made out of chicken wire (with a steel armature within). Haste was commissioned to create the animals in 2010, and they were installed in 2011 as part of the Tower’s “Royal Beasts” exhibit. They will remain in place for 10 years.

There’s an interesting short video of Haste at work here.

The first animals at the Tower were lions (1210). An elephant arrived in 1255. In 1832, when attacks on visitors and staff could no longer be ignored, the animals were moved to the London Zoo.

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