To continue celebrating women in natural history with the Biodiversity Heritage Library, we’re concluding Women’s History Month highlighting Helen Martini. At a time when there was little formal training in caring for zoo animals, Helen Martini used her own intuition, research, and experience to help successfully raise dozens of Bronx Zoo baby animals–at first in her own apartment and eventually in the Bronx Zoo’s first animal nursery, which she began. She never published any technical writings on her work, instead sharing her experiences in a memoir called “My Zoo Family.” Here she is caring for three jaguar cubs and a tiger cub in this 1940s photo.
Did you know that alligators sometimes bellow together to create their own little chorus? In a 1919 article from a WCS published magazine, there is a story about the Bronx Zoo alligators singing along to the whistles of ships returning to New York from World War I. Here we have the article as well as a photo of the largest alligator at the Zoo at the time. For more, read the blog post at Wild View.
From 1929 to 1934, Bostelmann served as a member of WCS’s Department of Tropical Research staff. Using her artist’s skills, she brought to life the incredible marine creatures the DTR explored in the deep seas around Bermuda. Some of her work was featured in National Geographic, making visible for the first time these never-before-seen species.
We’re showcasing Life Below Water for today’s World Wildlfe Day with this invitation to the Shark Tank opening at the New York Aquarium in 1980. We celebrate #MarineSpecies and all wildlife past, present, and future.