Sam the Orangutan

Sam the OrangutanSam the Orangutan riding a tricycle at the St. Louis Zoo. According to the zoo’s website, Sam shook hands with visitors, smoked a pipe and, during the 1924 opening of the Primate House, sat next to St. Louis mayor Henry Kiel.

Breckenridge Bear Pit

Breckenridge Park PostcardThe Bear Pit at San Antonio, Texas’ Breckenridge Park.  Bear pit….sounds like a place to toss undesirables! I’m a little confused by this card, as it makes no mention of the San Antonio Zoo, which, as I understand it, is adjacent to but not in Breckenridge Park. Perhaps someone familiar with San Antonio can shed some light on this. The white border postcard was published by Nic Tengg, San Antonio, Texas.

Chicago Bears

Brookfield Zoo PostcardNo, not those Chicago Bears. These bears are of the polar variety, and residents of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Postmarked in 1946, the back of this white border card has this to say:

BEARS . . . BROOKFIELD ZOO
One of the Barless Zoos in the world, covering nearly two hundred acres of native woodland, with some of the finest specimens and wonders of the wild animal life housed in natural settings of modern design and beauty.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island PostcardLocated within Riverside Park in Independence, Kansas is the Ralph Mitchell Zoo, and one of the historic attractions there is Monkey Island, a rhesus monkey exhibit that was constructed in 1932. The historic significance of Monkey Island lies in it being the birthplace of Miss Able, the first non-communist monkey in space. Launched on May 28, 1959, Miss Able returned safely to earth but died soon after during surgery to remove implanted electrodes. Sometimes fame is fleeting.