Happy 40th to Wild Asia!

On August 19, 1977, the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Asia exhibit opened to the public.  New York Times review on that date declared that

Wild Asia conveys a feeling of remoteness wrapped in a pervasive and palpable stillness, which is broken only by the occasional snort or shrill of one of its 200 animals and birds of Asian provenance, the delighted gasp of visitors seated in the monorail train that makes a circuit of the region or the muted roar of traffic on the nearby Bronx River Parkway.  

Over the past forty years, the monorail has continued to elicit delight from visitors while also educating them about the challenges several of the exhibit’s species face in the wild.  Among the highlights in the history of Wild Asia’s animal collections include Manhar, the world’s first gaur calf born to a Holstein cow by embryo transfer, in 1981; the addition of Rapunzel, the first Sumatran rhino to live at the Bronx Zoo, in 1990; and the addition of another endangered species, Turkmenian flare-horned markhor, in 2014.

To celebrate this anniversary, we’re showing off a few items from the Archives.

Wild Asia brochure, circa 1977. WCS Archives Collection 2016

Guide to Wild Asia, created by NYZS Education Department, 1979. Sections include Land and People of Asia and Wildlife, Man, and Conservation in Asia. WCS Archives Collection 2016

Visitors watching rhinos from the Wild Asia monorail, circa 1977. WCS Photo Collection

For more on the exhibit, see Processing Archivist Sana Masood’s post on the WCS Photo Blog, Wild View.


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