Coventry Zoo Dolphinarium: 1972 - 1975


The Coventry Zoo was opened in 1966 by cousins of the Chipperfield family. It was notably famous for a large fibreglass Zulu warrior standing at the main gates. Coventry Zoo housed two bottle nose dolphins, 'Chipper' and 'Nero' for a number of years in the early nineteen-seventies in a geodesic dome. The animals had been originally imported from Florida for a dolphinarium in an amusement park in Weymouth in Dorest for one summer season in 1971 before being moved to Coventry. The animals eventually left the zoo and where re-homed at Tierpark Hagenbeck's dolphinarium Hamburg, Germany.

 A Review of Dolphinaria states:

The 12.19 m diameter, 4.27 m deep sunken pool was housed in a circular plastic dome structure. The fish preparation facilities are said to have been inadequate. Mr W. Chipperfield, related to, but not associated with Chipperfield Organisation or Chipperfield's Circus, operated the Coventry Zoo. The two dolphins were exported to Hagenbeck's, Germany in 1975. Trainers: Mr F. Rendell, Ms Robin; Mr Jon Kershaw; 1974 Mrs Chipperfield.


Trainer Francis Rendell

Trainer Francis Rendell

Trainer Jon Kershaw

Dolphin Dome on the right of the picture

Trainer Mrs Sheila Chipperfield

Trainer Mrs Sheila Chipperfield

Mrs Sheila Chipperfield with Jon Kershaw diving into the pool


ATV Today: 20.03.1973: Cleaning Teeth of Dolphin

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