June is Zoo & Aquarium Month, and Coke fits in with both in our home town of Atlanta.

The Georgia Aquarium is located right next to our World of Coca-Cola, and that’s because Coke donated the land for the Aquarium. The area housing the two attractions is called “Pemberton Place,” named for the man who created Coca-Cola, Dr. John Pemberton.

Giraffe_coke_zoo_atlantaDecades before the Aquarium came to Atlanta, Coke was involved with the Atlanta zoo, though in an odd way!

Asa Candler was one of the early leaders of our Company (and in fact later became the mayor of Atlanta). His son, Asa Candler Jr., had a beautiful house in a nice area of the city called Druid Hills. At one time, Candler’s home included four greenhouses, formal gardens, a golf course, a commercial laundry and a private zoo. Six elephants (including pairs named “Coca” and “Cola,” and “Delicious” and “Refreshing”), a Bengal tiger, four lions, a black leopard, camels and monkeys roamed freely over the 42 acres of Candler’s estate.

By 1935, residents in the community were voicing their opposition to having the Candler menagerie in their neighborhood. So Candler donated over 100 birds and 84 other species of animals to Atlanta’s fledgling Grant Park Zoo. Atlanta school children raised the $15,000 required to provide adequate housing for the animals. (The zoo was not home to this cartoon giraffe from a 1964 U.S. ad!)