Buffalo at the National Zoological Park, 1890s, by Bell, C.M, 1891, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Buffaloes grazing at the National Zoological Park in 1891 soon after the completion of the first building, the Buffalo and Elk Barn, a glorified log cabin house for bison and elk. In the background an elk in his yard is visible. The first inhabitants of the Zoo were the 185 animals under the care of William Temple Hornaday, Curator of Living Animals, United States National Museum, that had been sheltered by fences behind the Smithsonian Institution Building..