Tacomans roared with displeasure when it looked like their lions and monkeys would be temporarily moved to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo in 1951 because their animal house was falling down around them.
Then, as usual, competition with the metropolis to the north was keen.
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When a truck arrived to cart away Nemo, ALice and 7-month-old cub Nora, Mrs. Dale Graham literally stood in the way of the movers sent to take the lions away.
Fund-raisers were held across Tacoma. A parade drew hundreds. "The Lions Share" fund grew and grew. And everything unfolded under the watchful eyes of three lions drawn by artist Norman Jacobson. The image, which appeared on stickers and placards advertising the cause, proclaimed: "tacoma, Home Sweet Home - If you don't want us, Seattle does!"
The public raised just under $12,200, and voters passed a special capital improvement levy to rebuild the zoo and keep it from losing marquee animals. A $123,000 animal house was dedicated in July 1954.