From Kenya, by Way of Park Avenue
One of the Zoo’s most famous early residents was Bong the cheetah. Adventurers Martin and Osa Johnson got him in Kenya as a sickly cub and raised him. They brought him aboard ship (seen here) back with them to New York, and they even took him for walks in Central Park. But they knew their apartment was no place for a cheetah, so they gave him to the San Diego Zoo, where he lived a long life. He even helped Belle Benchley with speaking engagements—acting as the Zoo’s first animal ambassador.