In 1955, gorillas were one of the most sought-after species to exhibit for zoo communities and one of the most challenging animals to keep in captivity. Nick Arundel, a life-long Warrenton-area resident, took on the challenge by getting a pair of baby gorillas from the African Congo and flying the apes on a commercial airline to the United States to donate to Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo.
Nick’s daughter-in-law, author Kara Arundel, tells the story of the gorillas’ captures, their lives at the National Zoo, and the legacy they left at the zoo in her book: Raising America’s Zoo: How Two Wild Gorillas Helped Transform the National Zoo.
Kara will share stories and photos of the gorillas’ upbringing, their offspring, the creation of Front Royal’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, as well as the transformational change at the zoo in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, at a book talk Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 at 11 a.m.
Free event. Families are welcome. No reservations required. A book signing will follow.