National Zoo

The National Zoological Park was conceived by William Temple Hornaday and established by an act of Congress in 1889. The Smithsonian’s collection of living animals was originally intended to aid taxidermists’ studies, but Smithsonian Secretaries Spencer F. Baird and Samuel P. Langley helped expand the small menagerie’s purpose. Today it houses over 2,000 animals of around 400 different species. Most of the postcards in this gallery show animals from the zoo, but a couple also have correspondence.