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Then and Now: Anteater statue at the National Zoo

Anteater statue unveiledAnteater statue at National Zoo

The giant anteater statue in front of the Small Mammal House at the National Zoo has been at that location since it was unveiled on March 25, 1938. The historic image captures the moment shortly after that unveiling. The bronze statue is six feet long and three feet high. The participants at the unveiling are identified (from left to right) as sculptor Edwin Springweiler, Dr. Alexander Wetmore of the Smithsonian Institution (who unveiled the sculpture), Head Keeper William Blackburn, and Dr. William M. Mann, Director of the National Zoological Park.

Historic image from the Library of Congress, Harris & Ewing Collection.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He's been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C.


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There's a more interesting sculpture elsewhere in the zoo - of an eagle - I think it came from New York City's old Penn Station - don't have any pix, but will try to get some soon!

by michael on Dec 29, 2009 6:11 pm • linkreport

I'd enjoy seeing the eagle sculpture. Thank you for mentioning it.

by Kent on Dec 29, 2009 9:25 pm • linkreport

I had visited it before few months. I really like the sculptures. I feel them like they will just gonna be alive like a holywood movie

by Camping food on Dec 30, 2009 7:45 am • linkreport

Thanks for the background on the anteater statue, very interesting.

The eagle just outside the bird house is one of the surviving Penn Station eagles, one of a handful still around (7 by my count, but there may be more). I have no idea why it's at the zoo, but if anyone does know, I'd love to find out.

by TimK on Dec 30, 2009 8:55 am • linkreport

I wish George Washington University would move its hippo statue from the main campus in Foggy Bottom to the Zoo!

by Colonial on Jan 1, 2010 12:23 am • linkreport

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