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Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell, C.B.E., F.R.S

Nature volume 134, page 280 (25 August 1934) | Download Citation



AT the August general meeting of the Zoological Society of London, it was announced that Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell would retire from the secretary ship at the annual meeting next April, and the Council would nominate Prof. Julian S. Huxley for election as his successor. For the past thirty years, Sir Peter has done so much towards making the Zoological Gardens more attractive to the public, while adding to the opportunities which they afford for scientific research, that his retirement marks the end of a brilliant epoch in the history of the Society. Only those who have been closely associated with him can realise the indebtedness of the Council to his ever-ready initiative and inspiration in the under takings which they have entrusted to his tactful direction. One of his earliest tasks was the removal of the offices, library, and meeting room from Hanover Square to a new building in the Gardens, where there was more ample and convenient accom modation. A small extension to the Gardens was then arranged, in return for the provision of some paddocks open to public view in Regent's Park. The Mappin Terraces soon followed as a generous gift, and eventually the Society was induced to risk great expenditure in placing under the Terraces the Aquarium, which was so well planned and arranged that public appreciation returned the outlay almost at once. The new buildings for apes and monkeys, reptiles, and insects, besides rearrangements for the parrots and smaller birds, and the provision of an adequate sanatorium, should also be mentioned; nor must the new and comparatively luxurious refresh ment houses be forgotten. Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell, however, will always be best remembered by the great share he took in the acquisition, planning, and organising of the Zoological Society's country park at Whipsnade, where wild animals live under almost natural conditions, and can be studied in ways for which there is no provision in an ordinary menagerie.

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