Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Black Panther Got Loose from the Bronx Zoo

In July 1902, a seven-month-old panther arrived from Mexico at the Bronx Zoo where he was kept overnight in his slatted wooden transit container. The next morning zookeepers discovered that the panther had chewed his way out of the container and gone on the lam. As keepers tried to capture him crowds gathered to take in the spectacle:
“Picnic parties were all up and making for spots of safety,” the Times wrote. The panther snacked on the leftovers, and even in this, reporters gave him the celebrity treatment: “He Eats Sandwiches and a Ham for Lunch,” the Times article read, “but Balks at Pie.”
He eventually eluded capture by swimming across the Bronx River, never to be seen again and became the stuff of legend.
Ido Michaeli, an Israeli-born artist currently based in New York, recently designed a tapestry based on the panther’s tale. The piece entitled Black Panther Got Loose from the Bronx Zoo is now on display at the American Jewish Historical Society.

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