Belle’s Life in a Man-Made Jungle
Belle Benchley not only had a way with animals, she had a way with words, as well. She was initially pushed into public speaking by Dr. Harry, who detested it and was more than happy to turn his speaking engagements over to her. Speaking in front of people made Belle nervous, but once she got used to it, she found she really enjoyed telling stories of the Zoo, all the animals that she loved, and her colorful experiences—and audiences wanted more. So she set out to write a book, and My Life in a Man-Made Jungle was published in 1940 to much popularity and acclaim. Belle would go on to write two more books about her experiences, My Friends the Apes in 1942 and My Animal Babies in 1945, and all three books earned her the unofficial title of “The Zoo Lady” among the public, a name she heard often even after her retirement from the Zoo.