Many pieces of my early collection of animal sculptures were displayed at the Franklin Park Children’s Zoo in Boston and at the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut in 2001 and 2002. The Beardsley, Josiah, who founded this Connecticut zoo was an old-time relative of Bob’s. He must have liked animals too.

It seems fitting that a zoo of sculptures could be seen side by side with a zoo of the real thing. Both the Franklin Park and Beardsley Zoos kept some of the pieces for their permanent display.

Bob and the delivery truck.

I have no idea about the reaction of the live animals to these cold metal critters, but the zookeepers told me that the visitors were delighted. Here is a sampling of what they saw.

The ostrich, gazing at us out front, has a bicycle seat for its head with ping-pong-ball eyes and toothbrushes for eyebrows. In the mid-ground is a praying mantis.

Praying Mantis with his dinner


Techno-Bird’s CD eyes are wide open as she listens to tapes on her earphones (tuna cans). The feathered body boasts many meters of unraveled audiotapes. Could she be bouncing with the Beatles? Madonna?

Scavenger Ant is crafted from a hand-plow frame with bowls added for eyes, doll carriage struts for antennae, a barbeque grill and lawn mower for the hind sections. The hand plow sat on my deck for months before I knew it would be an ant.

The zookeepers perched this owl on a rafter in one of their barns. The eyes were electric lightbulbs, and in the darkness, he would peer at folks as they walked through.

Can you identify what this elephant is made from?

Diving Alligator uses a vacuum cleaner for his scuba tank and keys for his teeth. He is covered from head to claw with wine corks. That’s a lot of wine.

One of my animals broke her leg on the way to the zoo and went belly-up. Here is a close-up of her pretty face. She is a grandmother, as you can see.


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