"Animals in Art Form"
There have always been animal collections at the Central Park Zoo. In the Robert Moses Zoo of 1934 and up to the present there have been animals that do not need to be fed, kept warm, and are always on display. They take the art form of friezes, banners, weather vanes, murals, and signs.

Dancing Goat Collage
The earliest of the animal statues appeared at the Robert Moses Zoo of 1934 and were bronze statues known as Honey Bear and Dancing Goat. They were originally installed on either side of Kelly's Restaurant in 1934. In 1988 they were reinstalled along the path leading to the Tisch Children's Zoo.

Photo by Joan Scheier

"The Tigress And Her Cubs"

Tigress Statue
The Tigress And Her Cubs is one of the oldest statues in Central Park. It has been in the park since 1867 and was installed in front of Kelley's Restaurant in 1934. Today it is in the intelligence garden situated in a quiet corner of the zoo. The statue shows a tigress and her cubs that are anxious to see the peacock she has caught for them. It is interesting to note that all three statues have found a new home in the Central Park Zoo today.

Photo by Joan Scheier

"Concrete Eagles"

Concrete Eagles
The eight Concrete Eagles have been at the zoo since 1937. They were removed from the shore Avenue Bridge to make room for the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway. Today four pairs of eagles still surround the center sea lion pool. This a popular place for visitors to take a photograph.

Photo by Joan Scheier

"Animal Friezes"

Monkey Frieze
Animal Friezes were carved along the sides of buildings to let the visitors know which animals they would find inside. The following appeared along the roof the monkey house in 1934 and can still be seen today in one of the two remaining original buildings, now known as Zoo School.

Photo of Monkey friezes--- private collection

"Weather Vanes"

Weather Vane
Weather Vanes were another artistic version of animals and were part of the zoo of 1934 and helped visitors locate the animals that were living inside. Many of these vanes can still be seen atop the buildings. The one below is now at atop The Leap Frog Cafe, which previously housed the hoofed animal collection.

Photo by Joan Scheier

"Delacorte Clock"

Delacorte Clock
In 1965 The Delacorte Clock was installed. The clock has six foot brass animals that dance around the base of the clock on the hour and half hour. Each animal is playing a musical instrument. The penguin playing the drum is one of the author's favorites. Two monkeys on top of the clock strike the hour and chime on the half hour. The clock plays nursery rhymes and seasonal favorites.

Photo by Joan Scheier

The Artwork of Ami Allyson Dobelle Showcased at the Central Park Zoo

Ami Allyson Dobelle

Ami Art
Mural in zoo school showing snake and Colobus monkey.

Ami Art
Mural that is up in zoo school.

Ami Art
Painting of Birds.

Ami Art
Painting of Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins.

Ami Art
Red Panda up a tree.

Balto. A beloved canine hero stands on a rock outcropping on the main path leading north from the Tisch Children’s Zoo. A slightly larger-than-life bronze sculpture honors Balto, the black and white Siberian husky who led a dogsled team through a blizzard to deliver an antitoxin needed to halt a diphtheria epidemic. The driver of the team described the trip to reporters at the time: "I couldn't see the trail. Many times I couldn't even see my dogs, so blinding was the gale. I gave Balto, my lead dog, his head and trusted to him. He never once faltered. It was Balto who led the way. The credit is his." Balto survived the journey and spent the rest of his life in the Cleveland zoo. He died in 1933 and can still be seen — stuffed and mounted — in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy

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Joan is available for book talks with slides, for both the Central Park Zoo and The New York City Zoos and Aquarium books.

Please contact her through e-mail cpzbook@aol.com or nyczoos@aol.com

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