- Lake Shore News (Wilmette, Illinois), 18 Dec 1914, p. 1
- Full Text
"I have been in Lincoln park for twenty-seven years in constant company with wild animals, and have never received an injury of any importance form these "ferocious pets." So said Cy De Vry, the veteran animal keeper, in a stereopticon lecture at the Evanston Y.M.C.A. Friday night.
De Vry gave his lecture before a large audience, which completely filled the auditorium. He said that tuberculosis had always been a great factor as the cause of death among animals in this country. The reason for this is that keepers think that the temperature at the quarters must be kept the same as that from which the animals originally came. He stated that several years ago the death rate at the park among monkeys was over seventy-five percent and at the suggestion of Dr. Evans, who is the medical adviser at the park, they decided on an experiment. Mr. De Bry selected eight of the oldest and scrawniest of his monkeys and proceeded to give them a winter out of doors, that is with slight shelter and no heat. In the spring the eight were alive, while more than half of those kept in warm indoor cages were dead. This alone proves the worth of fresh air in the keeping of wild animals, he said.
Mr. De Vry said that he once ordered a valuable monkey from Europe, and met the little shaver at the express [unclear], and brought him to the park in a taxicab. Early the next morning he had a call from the park that the animal was very sick. He called the doctor and hurried over to the park where the new arrival was found suffering form pneumonia. He called Mrs. DeVry on the phone, and she insisted that he bring the monkey [unclear] at once, and would listen to nothing else.
No monkey ever had the attention that "Mike" had during his sickness. Mrs. De Vry made him a bed in the front parlor and stayed with him all day, and it was De Vry's part of the entertaining to sleep with "Mike" at night and keep the covers on. He said he had never felt such a sensation as when the long, hairy arms would awaken him in the middle of the night, with an affectionate embrace. During his sickness hundreds of people visited the little animal, and one day the governor called.
"One of the many amusing incidents, amusing as I look at it now, but serious at the thime, was when one of my pet snakes, twenty-eight feet long, suddenly acquired an appetite. The particular food he wanted was another snake's head. The other snake was equally long, and when the hungry reptile got the other's head in his mouth he proceeded to swallow him. The bodies were so tangled that it took twenty men and myself an hour and a half to untangle them."
Mr. DeVry concluded his lecture with accounts of the struggles between "pet" animals that suddenly become mad.
"It costs us $10,000 a year to care for them," he said, "And $20,000 to feed them."
- Media Type
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- Date of Publication
- 18 Dec 1914
- Personal Name(s)
- De Vry, Cyrus
- Corporate Name(s)
- Lincoln Park Zoo
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