Lake Superior Zoo looking for photos, artifacts and storiesOne famous zoo resident about whom there should be no end of stories and pictures is the JFK-pardoned Mr. Magoo, who was the subject of the 1965 book “The Duluth Mongoose.”
By: Budgeteer Staff, Budgeteer News
Remember Mr. Magoo at the zoo? Or Valari the sun bear?
The Lake Superior Zoo is looking for photographic images, artifacts and stories to help tell the story of its history.
“We’re looking for any kind of old postcards or memorabilia or just stories about the zoo that people may have,” explained Erin Evans, who has been hired along with fellow Duluthian and zoo enthusiast Sarah Glesner to collect the material and stories.
The effort is being paid for by the Minnesota Legacy Fund.
So what are they looking for?
“I would love to find some of the free tickets that the streetcar company gave out to people to come to the zoo,” Evans told the Budgeteer. “They were offered by the streetcar company and the Duluth News Tribune or Duluth Herald.”
One famous zoo resident about whom there should be no end of stories and pictures is Mr. Magoo, the real-life subject of the 1965 book “The Duluth Mongoose.” With the species banned in the United States, Duluth’s mongoose was pardoned by President John F. Kennedy and allowed to stay.
“He’s probably our most well-known story, but there’s also the story of Valari,” Evans said. “At the time they called her a Himalayan bear, but now we would call it a ‘sun bear.’ She flew co-pilot on 164 combat missions during World War II. And somehow she ended up at the Duluth Zoo.”
If you have a picture or story (or bear-sized bomber jacket?) of Valari, or any other trinkets, tickets, T-shirts or treasures, they want to know.
High-quality images and stories may be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include names, dates and a narrative. You may also bring items to the zoo from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday.
Or staffers may be called directly to set up a time to meet — Erin Evans at 348-9650 or Sarah Glesner at 348-0264.