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Kansas State University
Theodore Reed dies at 90; leader in the modernization of zoos
Theodore Reed dies at 90; leader in the modernization of zoos

Upon joining the staff of the National Zoo in 1955, veterinarian Theodore Reed was greeted by antiquated animal dwellings — some dating to the 1890s — and a budget so spare he bought medicine for his new charges at a local drugstore and wheedled reimbursement later. Within a year he was running the Washington, D.C., zoo, which struggled along until a horrific event galvanized its keepers: A toddler was pulled into a cage by a lion and mauled to death in 1958. The tragedy led Congress to appropriate funds that allowed Reed to vastly modernize the wildlife park. Over the next quarter-century, he was at the forefront of the transformation of zoos from barred enclosures into...

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