The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
Gone But Not Forgotten: Former Animals at the National Zoo
Since I will be going with my son and his class on a field trip to the National Zoological Park tomorrow, I can't help but be reminded of the animals that used to be at the Zoo that are no longer there for him to see.
The National Zoological Park was orginally conceived by its founder, William Temple Hornaday (Chief Taxidermist for the United States National Museum), as a place to house endangered species and conduct research. It was established by an act of Congress in 1889. In 1890, Congress passed another act which placed the zoo under the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian to administer the zoo and to receive and care for the animals "for the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people." The first animals at the zoo were some 185 animals under the care Hornaday, who became Curator of Living Animals for the United States National Museum. Today there are roughly 2,000 animals from 400 different species that reside at the National Zoo.
However, among the animals that once called the zoo home are: