Do you know how many bird species were in the Bronx Zoo’s collection in 1932, or how many people visited the zoo that year? Or when Ookie, the beloved, bewhiskered Pacific walrus, first appeared at the Aquarium? Or perhaps what wildlife conservation projects the New York Zoological Society sponsored in Indonesia in 1978? Whether you’re doing historical research, just curious, or stocking up for a really strange bar trivia night (we won’t judge!), you can now find the answers by searching the Society’s Annual Reports online.
Through the generous support of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), the WCS Archives has recently digitized the annual reports that have been under copyright and made them available online. Of course, the reports are more than sources of trivia: they’re valuable pictures of the Society’s rich and diverse activities year by year.
And speaking of pictures, they also include some terrific images:
You can find the 1896-2008 run of Annual Reports here [Internet Archive].
Answers from above, for the record: 721 bird species and 3,045,961 zoo visitors in 1932. Ookie arrived in 1959. In 1978, NYZS sponsored Birute Galdiakis’s long term study of orangutan adaptation at Tanjung Puting Reserve. (And if you do happen to win any bar trivia with this, we want a cut!)