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I was a teenager in Little Rock in the 1950s. One of my best memories was going to the zoo.
I loved Ruth the elephant. She would be staked out on a huge chain, and we could walk up to her and pet her. The zoo hosted a birthday party for her each year and the baking company (I think it was Hostess) would bake her a huge cake and would give the children cupcakes. I always looked forward to that.
I lived close enough to the zoo that I was awakened by the lions roaring every morning, which has always been a good memory.
I LOVED going to the zoo.
I must make plans to revisit it before I get too old to walk. 
My maiden name was Jeanette Turner.

Jeannie Ressler
Mountain Home, AR


The Little Rock Zoo is one of five zoos in the United States selected to promote “Poetry in the Zoo.” This is a program funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant and administered by the Poet House in New York City. Our assigned Poet-in-Residence is Joe Bruchac, a Native American poet who has published more than 120 books. The zoo’s role in this project is to install permanent poetry excerpts throughout the zoo.


J.J. Muehlhausen
Little Rock, AR