Raising America's Zoo by Kara Arundel

Tuesday, February 6th 6:30pm

Local journalist Kara Arundel's Raising America's Zoo tells the story of her father-in-law, Nick Arundel, a gorilla-hunter-turned-activist who played an instrumental part in transforming the National Zoo into one of the world's leading conservation centers. 

In 1955, a young former Marine ventured to the Belgian Congo on a month-long adventure safari to view Africa's diverse wildlife. When Arthur "Nick" Arundel boarded a commercial airliner for home, he carried a baby gorilla in each arm. Their destination was the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., known as "America's Zoo." Raising America's Zoo shares the heartbreak and triumphs of these first-generation zoo gorillas and their caregivers who worked tirelessly to make their lives better. Witness a personal story of Nick Arundel, a man who at first celebrated their capture, then grew to regret his reputation as of "gorilla hunter" and spent the rest of his life as an advocate for animal conservation.

Kara Arundel has worked as a journalist for two decades in Florida, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To research this book about the National Zoo and her father-in-law, she reviewed thousands of pages of documents at the Smithsonian Institution Archives and conducted more than two dozen interviews with those most familiar with the zoo and gorillas