I'LL TRADE YOU AN ELK by Charles A. Goodrum


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When Bernie Goodrum took over as Director of Recreation for the city of Wichita in the late 1930's, he knew ""no more about running a zoo than the next ex-school teacher."" But he was a full blown optimist, and he had a way--many ways--of bringing animals into the impoverished ark. His son recalls them all with affection and more tolerance than admiration. ""The first innocent steps toward animal chaos"" began with the capture of a pelican who gave the zoo its first publicity and induced a deluge of pets to exhibit. Then there were the trades: hundreds of all sorts of birds for the India hill myuah Tiglath-Pileser which turned into a coatimondi on the last reckoning; goldfish and black bears (the Wichita specialty) for a lioness from Oklahoma City. There was the hatch-your-own scheme which successfully spawned quail and peacocks; and the crown of Mr. Goodrum's career, a tiger. Then war came, the zoo was set aside, to be resumed again in 1966 with a thirty-six million dollar plant. From afar the voice of Noah rose with enthusiasm....Pleasant enough.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1967
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls