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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Feeding Time: 1943

Feeding Time: 1943

Yes, Billy was lost. But he was also plump and juicy!

May 1943. "Washington, D.C. A sign at the National Zoological Park." Photo by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Beware Feline Dyspepsia

This is a solution not universally applicable to all zoos. Many have been unable to teach their lions to spit out the zippers and buttons, with resulting digestive distress.

Support your local parents!

That's definitely a swell punchline the zoo management is giving the parents to impress orderly behaviour on their menacing Dennises.

"Listen, son, stay close, or else the nice people of this zoo will put you with the lions."

Stage two: "And the lions are hungry!"

Stage three: "I'm sure they also provide doggybags for the leftovers."

Unintended consequences of meat rationing

There was a war going on and the zoo had to do what it had to do.

A much quoted sign

Washington Post, June 26, 1955.

‘Little Lost Lambs’ Getting New Haven at Zoo

“Lost children will be taken to the Lion House” is the Washington Zoo's most quoted sign. Outraged parents of straying tots protested vigorously until they discovered zoo police headquarters was sandwiched above the lions. Now, at long last, the sign will be changed. Come winter, the Zoo is to have a new building, housing among other facilities, police headquarters and the most up-to-date comfort station. So now Zoo officials are being bombarded with humorous suggestions about wording a new sign!

The same thing was true in Chicago

When I was a little boy in the 1960s, I got separated from my mother at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Somebody took me to the Lion House (now an architectural landmark, still with lions inside it), and a voice went out over the loudspeakers calling for my "lost parents" to come and get me. I guess lions and lost children go together like (insert lyrics from "Grease" here).

Feeding Time

Sorta raises the question of what happens to children, uneaten lunches, and misplaced haunches of venison left unclaimed at the Lion House. So many hungry lions, so few foundlings.

Unsupervised Children Will be Given a Free Puppy

Do you think that the Management of the National Zoo saw the irony?

Very efficient

Lion house, eh? What if they aren't picked up by the end of the day?

No longer as amusing these days

"For items you may have accidentally left at the Zoo, please call the Zoo Police at 202-633-4111, or visit the Police Office off Olmsted Walk just above the Mane Grill."


SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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