The Belfast Telegraph reported that ‘dangerous’ animals at the zoo had been destroyed to protect the public in the event of bomb damage to their enclosures that may permit their escape. In all 33 animals were put down including a puma, tiger, polar bears, lions and a giant rat.[1]

Air Raid Warden James Doherty said that measure though ‘purely precautionary’ gave ‘rise to the rumour that the government had some information that another attack on the city was imminent. It certainly increased the number of trekers’.[2] Trekkers were though people who left the city at night to sleep in the surrounding countryside either because they feared another attack, were homeless or both.

Many people advertised for properties outside the city limits. One prominent advert (below) wanted a ‘large country mansion’, no less than 8,000 square feet.[3]


[1] Belfast Telegraph, 19 April 1941, p.3.

[2] James Doherty, Post 381, The memoirs of a Belfast air raid warden (Belfast: Friar’s Bush Press, 1989), pp.78-79.

[3] Belfast Telegraph, 19 April 1941, p.1.