“The Times They Are A-Changin’….”
As the San Diego Zoo entered its sixth decade, the winds of change were being felt everywhere. The world was looking to the sky as the Space Program heated up between the Soviet Union and the United States, leading to the awe-inspiring first man to walk on the moon in 1969. Far more earthly concerns were heating up as well, as the Civil Rights Movement reached a fever pitch and the Vietnam War took its toll on soldiers, families, and the social fabric of U.S. society. Protests, Woodstock, and Watergate made their mark. What was making more of a mark than ever in the zoological community was the increasing worry about shrinking habitats, diminishing populations, and an uncertain future for wildlife. The emphasis Dr. Charlie Schroeder had placed upon conservation during the Zoo’s Golden Jubilee year was becoming more of a concern for zoos. While the Zoo was doing well and the collection and grounds were the best yet, Dr. Schroeder had even bigger dreams—a plan that would take the organization in a whole new direction. And he had the optimism and the will—some would say the stubbornness—to make it happen. The times were definitely a-changin’.