Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Belated Happy Birthday #2

This is the actual 1947 photo that inspired that gag birthday card.

Pete was an icon at the Bronx zoo. He had a huge outside yard in the NE corner of the old and beautiful 1909 Elephant House (where this photo was taken) . But it did not have a bathing pool. He had one inside but he had to get by sans water while in the yard. He was the Bronx's only hippo throughout his life there. He died on Feb. 1, 1953.

Richard Reynolds
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B.E.Trumble said...

When I was a kid the layout of the zoo, coming in through the Fordam Rd entrance was absolute fantasy. The Admin Building and the Boone & Crockett Club's collection of Heads and Horns were to the left, the fantastic hummingbirds were to the right and dominating that first courtyard was the Elephant House and the sea lion pool. The big cats were on the right. The great apes on the left, the bear grottos behind the apes. Years later when I worked at the park, most of the elephants had moved to Wild Asia, but the ride elephants still worked beside the old elephant house and on a Spring day when the sun was shining it all looked like a magical kingdom. Today the idea of displaying mounted heads at a zoo is absolutely politically incorrect. I'm afarid that an entire generation has forgotten that the first important environmentalists were hunters like Rooseveldt. And the zoo was founded by Wm T Hornaday, who as a taxidermist worked on Ward's on the preparation of Jumbo.

Anonymous said...

Richard Reynolds adds - - -

I should have said that Pete was the only Nile or common hippo at the Bronx throughout his life. They had a number of pygmy hips over those years. In fact the very first pygmy hippos ever in America (a pair) arrived at the Bronx zoo on July 9, 1912.